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Open Access Research article

Reshaping maternal services in Nigeria: any need for spiritual care?

Abiodun I Adanikin13*, Uche Onwudiegwu2 and Akinyemi A Akintayo1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria

2 Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Perinatology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

3 P.O. Box 1799 Lagere, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2014, 14:196  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-196

Published: 6 June 2014

Abstract

Background

High maternal and perinatal mortalities occur from deliveries conducted in prayer houses in Nigeria. Although some regulatory efforts have been deployed to tackle this problem, less attention has been placed on the possible motivation for seeking prayer house intervention which could be hinged on the spiritual belief of patients about pregnancy and childbirth. This study therefore seeks to determine the perception of booked antenatal patients on spiritual care during pregnancy and their desire for such within hospital setting.

Method

A total of 397 antenatal attendees from two tertiary health institutions in southwest Nigeria were sampled. A pretested questionnaire was used to obtain information on socio-demographic features of respondents, perception of spiritual care during pregnancy and childbirth; and how they desire that their spiritual needs are addressed. Responses were subsequently collated and analyzed.

Results

Most of the women, 301 (75.8%), believe there is a need for spiritual help during pregnancy and childbirth. About half (48.5%) were currently seeking for help in prayer/mission houses while another 8.6% still intended to. Overwhelmingly, 281 (70.8%) felt it was needful for health professionals to consider their spiritual needs. Most respondents, 257 (64.7%), desired that their clergy is allowed to pray with them while in labour and sees such collaboration as incentive that will improve hospital patronage. There was association between high family income and desire for collaboration of healthcare providers with one’s clergy (OR 1.82; CI 1.03-3.21; p = 0.04).

Conclusion

Our women desire spiritual care during pregnancy and childbirth. Its incorporation into maternal health services will improve hospital delivery rates.

Keywords:
Pregnancy; Childbirth; Hospital; Spiritual care