Knowledge and practice among health professionals concerning
Fathizadeh. N , Fahami . F.
Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, School of Nursing and
Midwifery, Isfahan, Iran
Introduction: Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy
after unprotected sexual intercourse .It can be administered after the known
failure of existing methods (broken sheaths, expelled intrauterine contraceptive
devices and…) or following intercourse without use of contraceptive. It has
been available in the UK since 1974. However, knowledge and practice of this
method of preventing pregnancy seems less widespread than that would be expected
to be and it does not appear to have made any impacts on the rate of induced
abortion, which has risen over the last 15 years. These suggest the unplanned
and unwanted pregnancies carry a higher risk of morbidity and mortality among
mothers and children often due to unsafe Abortion. The risk of pregnancy with
one unprotected act of intercourse can be as high as one in four, depending on
the cycle and day of exposure in relation to ovulation.
Methods: This study is a national cross sectional study
carried out on 154 staff employees at health centers. Questionnaires about
knowledge were given to all practitioners, family planning midwives and family
health members in the health centers in Isfahan University of Medical Science in
1999-2000. All personnel were involved in this research. Medical & Menstrual
& pregnancy history, date of end to use contraceptive method, date of
unprotected intercourse, description of side effect of used ECP for client, time
of menstruation after use of ECP and date for follow up were observed by the
researchers. Findings were analyzed using the SPSS/PC statistical package.
Results: Findings showed that 38.1% of health
professionals were at excellent level of knowledge, 29.9% were average, 20% good,
9.7% weak and 8.4% very weak. The survey of ECP showed that basic awareness
about this method is high, although specific practice on appropriate use such as
time limit for use, the level of effectiveness and the possible side effects
were lacking. 37/7% of health professionals were having poor score practice.
Discussion: Most of health staff were at very poor score
of practice (37/7%). Lack of information causes the staff to have inappropriate
practice and lack of knowledge on practice causes the staff not to function
appropriately resulting in unwanted pregnancy that can induce higher morbidity
and mortality in mothers and children.
Key Words: Knowledge, Practice, Post Coital Contraception,
Emergency Contraceptive Pill.