Knowledge, attitudes and practices of pregnant women towards obstetric ultrasound at Mulago Hospital
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Introduction: Prenatal sonography is very important for quality patient management and effective service delivery in diagnostic radiology during the antenatal period (ANP). Obstetric ultrasonography in antenatal care (ANC) is now globally recognized as one of the ways through which maternal mortality can be reduced. However, the majority of pregnant women attend antenatal ultrasound late and at times, some do not attend at all. This increases pregnancy and delivery associated risks including mortality. Pregnant women’s awareness, knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes are thought to influence their response towards antenatal ultrasound scan. Therefore, this study was aimed at exploring the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of pregnant women towards prenatal sonography at Mulago hospital, Kampala, Uganda. Methodology: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study that involved 300 pregnant women who attended obstetric sonography at Mulago hospital, Kampala, Uganda and consented to participate. Consecutive sampling technique was used to recruit participants into the study. The data was collected using interviewer-administered questionnaires and was analyzed quantitatively into descriptive statistical tables, percentages and graphs using SPSS version 20. Results: A total of 300 questionnaires were distributed to the pregnant women and the response rate was 100%. Most participants were within 20-29 years age group. Most participants knew the use of ultrasound scan in antenatal care. However, the majority also reported a misconception that ultrasound has harmful effects. Generally, participants showed a positive attitude towards obstetric ultrasound scan but they had poor practices. Long waiting time and lack of privacy were reported by most participants as leading factors that contributed to the poor practices. Conclusion: This study shows that the knowledge and attitude of pregnant women towards obstetric ultrasound in Mulago hospital were good. However, their practices were poor. The concerns that need to be addressed include patient’s privacy, waiting time and the misconception regarding the safety of ultrasound that it can cause cancer.