• Acceptability of intrapartum ultrasound by mothers in an African population

      Wiafe, Yaw Amo; Whitehead, Bill; Venables, Heather; Dassah, Edward T; University of Derby; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghan (Springer, 2019-05-08)
      Intrapartum ultrasound is gaining high acceptance by many women as another method for assessing labour progression. Despite growing evidence of the effectiveness of ultrasound in labour, the acceptance of intrapartum ultrasound has not been previously investigated in black Africans. This study aimed to determine women’s acceptance of intrapartum ultrasound and their preference for transperineal ultrasound or digital vaginal examination (digital VE) in Ghana. An analytical cross-sectional study was conducted among mothers who had had both digital VE and transperineal ultrasound during labour in a tertiary hospital. Information about their sociodemographic characteristics, experience with, and preference for ultrasound or digital VE in labour using a pretested structured questionnaire was obtained. Their experiences were categorised as ‘tolerable, ‘quite uncomfortable’ or ‘very uncomfortable’. Categorical variables were compared using Fisher’s exact test. A p value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Altogether, 196 women were recruited into the study. The mean age of the women was 26.7 years (standard deviation, 4.6 years). Nearly half (47%) of the women had never delivered before. Significantly more women considered transperineal ultrasound to be more tolerable than digital VE (66% vs. 40%; p < 0.001). Almost all the women (97.5%) described their experience with transperineal ultrasound to be better than digital VE, and would choose transperineal ultrasound over digital VE in the future (98.5% vs. 1.5%; p < 0.001). The findings of this study are comparable to those of other related studies reported recently. This research confirms high acceptance of ultrasound in labour by mothers from different countries and across continents, implying that cultural differences do not influence women’s responses to and interest in intrapartum ultrasound. Most women found ultrasound in labour to be more tolerable than digital VE. Whenever possible, transperineal ultrasound should be provided as an alternative to digital VE during labour.