Women’s Awareness and Attitude toward Epidural Analgesia

Hanem F. Mohamed, Jamilah Alqahtani, Nada Almobaya, Maram Aldosary, Hanan Alnajay


Introduction: Women’s awareness and attitudes toward Epidural Analgesia (EA) are not clearly identified.  The benefits of EA in relieving labor pain are well recognized.  However, women’s preferences in using EA to relieve labor pain differ between cultures. The objective of this study was to assess women’s awareness and attitudes toward EA.

Methods: A descriptive correlational cross-sectional design was used to collect data from a convenience sample of 550 women in childbearing age.   Women were interviewed face-to-face after they agreed to participate in the study.  Data were collected from shopping malls, women’s cafeterias, beauty salons and outpatient clinics in Riyadh, KSA. Demographic profiles, knowledge and attitudes of EA questionnaires were used to collect data for the study.

Results:  The majority of women were young, married, multigravids, lived in Riyadh, were well educated, unemployed, and had a significant monthly income.  Women reported a good level of knowledge regarding most of the items on the EA questionnaire.  42% reported that they know about EA from family members/relatives and friends, 18% from the media or readings, 13% from previous delivery experience and 8% from brochures at antenatal clinics.  Women’s attitudes toward using EA in future labor were varied since similar percentages agreed, did not agree and weren’t sure about using EA in their future labor.  The reasons for the unclear attitudes were advice from relatives not to use EA, and a desire to experience natural labor pain.  There was a significance moderate correlation between knowledge and parity (r = .40**, p = .000), income (r = .39**, p = .001), education (r = .31**, p = .000), and attitude (r = .31**, .000).

Conclusion and recommendations: Although women’s awareness regarding EA was relatively high, their attitude toward using EA in future labor was not clear.  Culturally sensitive educational programs are needed to improve women’s perception and attitude toward using EA in their future labor and to have a satisfactory labor.

Keywords: Awareness, attitude, epidural, labor pain, women

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