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Trinidadian women’s knowledge, perceptions, and preferences regarding cesarean section: How do they make choices?

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Kameel Mungrue, C Nixon, Y David, D Dookwah, S Durga, K Greene, H MohammedFaculty of Medical Sciences, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Public Health & Primary Care Unit, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and TobagoObjectives: The objective of this study is to determine the awareness of perception and attitude toward cesarean section (CS) in a high-user setting.Design and methods: A cross-sectional design using multistage sampling methods was used to select participants from antenatal and postnatal clinics in a primary health care setting in north Trinidad. A multi-item structured questionnaire was designed and administered by in-depth interviews. Sociodemographic data and data about history of previous pregnancies and outcomes and about knowledge and perceptions of CSs were collected from women aged 16 years and older.Results: Of the women who were eligible for entry into the study, 368 participated. However, participants chose not to respond to some questions. The majority of women (46.2%) were found to have very little information from which to make informed decisions about selecting CS as the preferred choice of delivery. Their preference was significantly associated with the perception of safety (maternal or fetal death, P = 0.001), difficulty (complications to mother and baby, P = 0.001), and pain (P = 0.001). Notwithstanding, persons who received information from health care professionals (odds ratio [OR], 1.9; confidence interval, 1.50–2.33) were more likely to have high or adequate levels of information about CSs. Data were analyzed using SPSS software, and ORs were calculated using logistic regression.Conclusion: The majority of women attending antenatal and postnatal clinics in north Trinidad were not sufficiently knowledgeable about CS to enable them to make informed choices. In addition, the information obtained was from an unreliable source, emphasizing the need for information on CS to form a component of a structured antenatal education program.Keywords: cesarean section, antenatal education, Trinidad

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