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Acceptability of intrapartum ultrasound by mothers in an African populationIntrapartum 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.
Intrapartum ultrasound assessment of cervical dilatation and its value in detecting active labor.Introduction We aimed to examine the agreement between ultrasound and digital vaginal examination in assessing cervical dilatation in an African population and to assess the value of ultrasound in detecting active labor. Method A cross-sectional study was conducted in a teaching hospital in Ghana between April and September of 2016. Anterior–posterior and transverse diameters of cervical dilatation were measured with ultrasound and the mean value was compared with digital vaginal examination in 195 women in labor. Agreement between methods was examined with correlation coefficients and with Bland–Altman plots. Active labor was defined when cervix was dilated ≥ 4 cm with vaginal examinations. ROC curve analysis was conducted on the diagnostic performance of ultrasound in detecting active labor. Results Data were analyzed in 175 out of 195 (90%) cases where ultrasound could clearly visualize the cervix. The remaining 20 cases were all determined by digital vaginal examination as advanced cervical dilatation (≥ 8 cm), advanced head station (≥ + 2), and with ruptured membranes. The Pearson correlation coefficient (r) was 0.78 (95% CI 0.72–0.83) and the intra-class correlation coefficient was 0.76 (95% CI 0.69–0.81). Bland–Altman analysis obtained a mean difference of − 0.03 cm (95% CI − 0.18 to 0.12) with zero included in the CI intervals, indicating no significant difference between methods. Limits of agreement were from − 2.01 to 1.95 cm. Ultrasound predicted active labor with 0.87 (95% CI 0.75–0.99) as the area under the ROC curve. Conclusion Ultrasound measurements showed good agreement with digital vaginal examinations in assessing cervical dilatation during labor and ultrasound may be used to detect active labor.