Attitude and knowledge of Latvian women towards episiotomy
Keywords:Episiotomy, Perineal lacerations, Childbirth, Qualitative research
Background: Although episiotomy is one of the most common surgical procedures, there is still not a lot of research on patients' experience, knowledge and attitudes.
Methods: A structured questionnaire was developed and carried out online to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes toward episiotomy among pregnant women and women who had given birth in the previous three years.
Results: In this study, 1394 respondents were included. 72.6% of respondents knew what episiotomy was and why the procedure was performed, and 50.9% of those women acknowledged that before labour they did not receive an adequate amount of information. There is a correlation between the knowledge of episiotomies and refusal of the procedure (Spearman’s r=-0.133, p≤0.001). In case of insufficient information, women were more likely to refuse the procedure. 36.2% of women who experienced episiotomy were informed about the procedure and gave their consent to it and 51.9% did not, the rest could not give a concrete answer.
Conclusions: Women are not provided with sufficient information about episiotomies during pregnancy. In the majority of cases, patient involvement in the decision-making is not observed. Women must be provided with choices and obtaining their consent should be an integral part of the procedure.
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