Argentina and Uruguay are among the countries with the highest proportion of pregnant women who smoke. The implementation of an effective smoking cessation intervention would have a significant impact on the health of mothers and infants. The “5 A’s” (Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, Arrange) is a strategy consisting of a brief cessation counseling session of 5–15 minutes delivered by a trained provider. The “5 A’s” is considered the standard of care worldwide; however, it is under used in Argentina and Uruguay.
We will conduct a two-arm, parallel cluster randomized controlled trial of an implementation intervention in 20 prenatal care settings in Argentina and Uruguay. Prenatal care settings will be randomly allocated to either an intervention or a control group after a baseline data collection period. Midwives’ facilitators in the 10 intervention prenatal clinics (clusters) will be identified and trained to deliver the “5 A’s” to pregnant women and will then disseminate and implement the program. The 10 clusters in the control group will continue with their standard in-service activities. The intervention will be tailored by formative research to be readily applicable to local prenatal care services at maternity hospitals and acceptable to local pregnant women and health providers. Our primary hypothesis is that the intervention is feasible in prenatal clinics in Argentina and Uruguay and will increase the frequency of women receiving tobacco use cessation counseling during pregnancy in the intervention clinics compared to the control clinics. Our secondary hypotheses are that the intervention will decrease the frequency of women who smoke by the end of pregnancy, and that the intervention will increase the attitudes and readiness of midwives towards providing counseling to women in the intervention clinics compared to the control clinics.
ClinicalTrials.gov. Identifier: NCT01852617
Pregnancy; Smoking cessation; Guidelines
The goal of reducing maternal mortality can be achieved when women receive important service components at the time of their maternity care. This study attempted to assess the availability and the components of maternity services according to the perspectives of service users and providers.
A linked facility and population-based survey was conducted over three months (January to March 2012) in North Gondar Zone. Twelve kebeles (clusters) were selected randomly from six districts to identify maternity clients cared for by skilled providers. Then 12 health centers and 3 hospitals utilized by the corresponding cluster population were selected for facility survey. Interview with facility managers/heads, providers and clients and observations were used for data collection. Data were entered using Epi Info and were exported to SPSS software for analysis.
Antenatal and delivery care were available in most of the visited facilities. However, the majority of them were not fully functioning for EmOC according to their level. Signal functions including administration of anticonvulsants and assisted vaginal delivery were missing in seven and five of the 12 health centers, respectively. Only one hospital met the criteria for comprehensive emergency obstetric care (performed cesarean section). Only 24% of the providers used partograph consistently. About 538 (32.3%) and 231 (13.8%) of the women received antenatal and delivery care from skilled providers, respectively. Most of the services were at health centers by nurses/midwives. At the time of the antenatal care, women received the important components of the services (percentage of users in bracket) like blood pressure checkup (79%), urine testing (35%), tetanus immunization (45%), iron supplementation (64%), birth preparedness counseling (51%) and HIV testing (71%). During delivery, 80% had their blood pressure measured, 78% were informed on labor progress, 89% had auscultation of fetal heartbeat, 80% took drugs to prevent bleeding and 78% had counseling on early & exclusive breast-feeding.
Antenatal and delivery care were available in most of the visited facilities. However, important components of both the routine and emergency maternity care services were incomplete. Improving the functional capacity of health facilities for the delivery of routine maternity and EmOC services are needed.
Availability of maternal service; Components of maternity care
While the most important factors associated with facility-based delivery (FBD) have been explored within individual countries in Africa, no systematic review has explored the factors associated with FBD across sub-Saharan Africa. A systematic search of the peer-reviewed literature was conducted to identify articles published in English from 1/1995-12/2011 that reported on original research conducted entirely or in part in sub-Saharan Africa and included a primary outcome variable of FBD, delivery location, or skilled birth attendance (SBA). Out of 1,168 citations identified, 65 met inclusion criteria. 62 of 65 were cross-sectional, and 58 of 65 relied upon household survey data. Fewer than two-thirds (43) included multivariate analyses. The factors associated with facility delivery were categorized as maternal, social, antenatal-related, facility-related, and macro-level factors. Maternal factors were the most commonly studied. This may be a result of the overwhelming reliance on household survey data – where maternal sociodemographic factors are likely to be well-represented and non-maternal factors may be less consistently and accurately represented. Multivariate analysis suggests that maternal education, parity / birth order, rural / urban residence, household wealth / socioeconomic status, distance to the nearest facility, and number of antenatal care visits were the factors most consistently associated with FBD. In conclusion, FBD is a complex issue that is influenced by characteristics of the pregnant woman herself, her immediate social circle, the community in which she lives, the facility that is closest to her, and context of the country in which she lives. Research to date has been dominated by analysis of cross-sectional household survey data. More research is needed that explores regional variability, examines longitudinal trends, and studies the impact of interventions to boost rates of facility delivery in sub-Saharan Africa.
Africa; Facility delivery; Maternal health service utilization; Systematic review
Awareness of infertility risk factors is an essential first step to safeguard future fertility. Whereas several studies have examined university students’ awareness of female fertility and related risk factors, the topic of male infertility has not been well examined. The objective of this study was to assess young men and women’s awareness, knowledge and perceptions of infertility, male and female infertility risk factors and assisted reproductive technologies (ART).
Semi-structured interviews were conducted in 2008 with a multi-ethnic sample of sixteen male and twenty-three female Ottawa university students, followed by qualitative data analysis to identify major themes. Interview topics included awareness of male and female infertility risk factors, infertility diagnosis/treatments and personal options in the event of future infertility.
Participants were generally familiar with infertility as a biomedical health problem, could identify sex-specific risk factors but overestimated fertility of women in their thirties and ART success rates. Reproductive health knowledge gaps and confusion of the physiological life-stage of menopause with infertility were apparent. Most participants would pursue in vitro fertilization or international adoption in the event of personal infertility. Some participants wished to use a ‘natural’ approach and were concerned with potential side effects of ART-related medications.
The general awareness of infertility in young adults is promising and supports the potential uptake for health promotion of fertility preservation. This study underscores the continued need for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education and promotion for adolescents and young adults.
Infertility; Qualitative; University students; Risk perception; ART
The last innovation in operative vaginal delivery happened centuries ago with the invention of the forceps and the vacuum extractor. The World Health Organization Odon Device Research Group recently published a protocol for a feasibility and safety study for a new device (Odon device) which aims to revolutionize assisted vaginal delivery. This editorial discusses the device and its pathway to global use. Although preliminary results look promising, the rigorous three-phased WHO protocol needs completion before the device can be determined, based on the evidence, to be safe and effective.
Use of depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), often known by the brand name Depo-Provera, has increased globally, particularly in multiple low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). As a reproductive health technology that has scaled up in diverse contexts, DMPA is an exemplar product innovation with which to illustrate the utility of the AIDED model for scaling up family health innovations.
We conducted a systematic review of the enabling factors and barriers to scaling up DMPA use in LMICs. We searched 11 electronic databases for academic literature published through January 2013 (n = 284 articles), and grey literature from major health organizations. We applied exclusion criteria to identify relevant articles from peer-reviewed (n = 10) and grey literature (n = 9), extracting data on scale up of DMPA in 13 countries. We then mapped the resulting factors to the five AIDED model components: ASSESS, INNOVATE, DEVELOP, ENGAGE, and DEVOLVE.
The final sample of sources included studies representing variation in geographies and methodologies. We identified 15 enabling factors and 10 barriers to dissemination, diffusion, scale up, and/or sustainability of DMPA use. The greatest number of factors were mapped to the ASSESS, DEVELOP, and ENGAGE components.
Findings offer early empirical support for the AIDED model, and provide insights into scale up of DMPA that may be relevant for other family planning product innovations.
Scale up; Family health; DMPA; Depo-provera; Low-income settings; Innovation; Global health
In developing nations, the spread of STIs/HIV infection continues to affect millions of young and productive population. In Ethiopia youths including university/college students are at greater risk of STIs including HIV infection often due to many risky sexual behaviors. Although there are some anecdotal evidences suggesting widespread unsafe sexual practices among university students, the paucity of research finding, especially in newly established public universities are the major bottle necks to commence feasible interventions. Therefore, this study was designed to assess the magnitudes and factors associated with risks for STIs/HIV infections among Madawalabu university students in Southeast Ethiopia.
An institution based cross sectional study was conducted from May-June 2012. A total of 390 students were selected using stratified then simple random sampling method. Descriptive statistics, binary logistic and multivariable logistic regression analyses were employed to identify factors associated with risks for STIs/HIV infection.
Combined risk measure showed that 51.4% of students were at risk of having STIs and/or HIV infection. Practicing casual sex/sex for benefits with first sexual partner (OR = 3.9[95%C.I: 1.86-8.03]), life time multiple sexual partner (had more than three sexual partners) (OR = 2.7[95%C.I: 1.13-6.28]), and number of sexual partners in the last 12 months (four and above) (OR = 4.8[95%C.I: 1.77-13.53]) showed statistically significant association with risks for STIs and/or HIV infection. Practicing casual sex/ sex for any benefit with their first sexual partner (AOR = 3.9 [95%CI: 1.80-8.50]) and multiple sexual partners in the last 12 months (four and above) (AOR = 3.7 [95%C.I: 1.15-11.80]) were found to be the independent predictors of risks for STIs and/or HIV infection.
This study has identified risks and risk sexual behaviors for STIs and/or HIV infection on university students. The knowledge of the students towards STIs and/or HIV is unsatisfactory. More than half of the students were at risk for STIs and/or HIV infection. Casual/benefit based sexual relationship with first sexual partner and having multiple sexual partners (≥4 sexual partners) in the last 12 months were independent predictors of STIs and/or HIV infections. Therefore, university based, risk reduction and behavior change focused interventions are recommended.
The behavior of arterial blood pressure in postpartum of women with hypertension and pregnancy and the best treatment for very high blood pressure in this period still need evidence. The Cochrane systematic review assessing prevention and treatment of postpartum hypertension found only two trials (120 patients) comparing hydralazine with nifedipine and labetalol for the treatment of severe hypertension and did not find enough evidence to know how best to treat women with hypertension after birth. Although studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of treatment with captopril, side effects were reported. Because of these findings, new classes of antihypertensive drugs began to be administered as an alternative therapy. Data on the role of clonidine in this particular group of patients, its effects in the short and long term are still scarce in the literature.
To determine the effectiveness of clonidine, compared to captopril, for the treatment of postpartum very high blood pressure in women with hypertension in pregnancy.
The study is a triple blind randomized controlled trial including postpartum women with diagnosis of hypertension in pregnancy presenting very high blood pressure, and exclusion criteria will be presence of heart disease, smoking, use of illicit drugs, any contraindication to the use of captopril or clonidine and inability to receive oral medications.
Eligible patients will be invited to participate and those who agree will be included in the study and receive captopril or clonidine according to a random list of numbers. The subjects will receive the study medication every 20 minutes until blood pressure is over 170 mmHg of systolic blood pressure and 110 mmHg diastolic blood pressure. A maximum of six pills a day for very high blood pressure will be administered. In case of persistent high blood pressure levels, other antihypertensive agents will be used.
During the study the women will be subject to strict control of blood pressure and urine output. This proposal has already obtained approval of the local Institutional Review Board of the coordinating center (IMIP, Recife, Brazil) and of the National Council for Ethics in Research (CONEP) of the Brazilian Ministry of Health.
Clinical Trials Register under the number NCT01761916.
Severe preeclampsia; Hypertension; Pregnancy; Postpartum; Very high blood pressure; Randomized controlled trial; Antihypertensive agents
Reproductive health and Family Planning (FP) services have been of global concern especially in developing countries where fertility rates are high. Traditionally FP services had always targeted females with little or no attention given to males. To ensure equitable distribution of health services, Ministry of Health (MOH), Ghana adopted the Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) as a nationwide health policy with the aim of reducing obstacles to physical and geographical access to health care delivery including FP services. However, not much is known about the extent to which this policy has contributed to male involvement in FP services. This qualitative descriptive study was therefore designed to explore male involvement in FP services in communities with well functioning CHPS and those with less or no functioning CHPS structures. The study further solicited views of the community on the health status of children.
This was a qualitative descriptive study and adapted the design of an ongoing study to assess the impact of male involvement in FP referred to as the Navrongo experiment in Northern Ghana. Twelve focus group discussions were held with both male and female community members, six in communities with functional CHPS and six for communities with less/no-functional CHPS. In addition, fifty- nine (59) in-depth interviews were held with Community Health Officers (CHOs), Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) and Health Managers at both the districts and regional levels. The interviews and discussions were tape recorded digitally, transcribed and entered into QSR Nvivo 10© for analysis.
The results revealed a general high perception of an improved health status of children in the last ten years in the communities. These improvements were attributed to immunization of children, exclusive breastfeeding, health education given to mothers on childcare, growth monitoring of children and accessible health care. Despite these achievements in the health of children, participants reported that malnutrition was still rife in the community. The results also revealed that spousal approval was still relevant for women in the use of contraceptives; however, the matrilineal system appears to give more autonomy to women in decision-making. The CHPS strategy was perceived as very helpful with full community participation at all levels of the implementation process. Males were more involved in FP services in communities with functioning CHPS than those without functioning CHPS.
The CHPS strategy has increased access to FP services but spousal consent was very important in the use of FP services. Involving males in reproductive health issues including FP is important to attain reproductive health targets.
Community-based health planning and services; Family planning; Male involvement; Reproductive health; Contraceptive use; Spousal communication; Southern Ghana
Unsafe abortion in the developing world accounts for 13% of all maternal deaths. Ethiopia is one of the developing countries with the highest maternal mortality ratio (673 per 100,000 live births) in the world. Unsafe abortion was estimated to account for 32% of all maternal deaths in Ethiopia.
To assess post abortion care quality status in health facilities of Guraghe zone.
A facility based cross-sectional study design with both quantitative and qualitative methods was conducted. Patient interview, direct service observation, provider self administered questionnaire and inventory of equipment and supplies were used for the assessment. Six health centers, two hospitals and 422 post-abortion patients were included in the study.
Patient-provider interaction was generally satisfactory from the patient’s perspective. The majority of the respondents (93.5%) said that they were treated with politeness and respect. More than half 226(56.5%) of the clients have received post abortion family planning. Overall, 83.5% of the patients were satisfied with the services. Those who said waiting time was long were less satisfied and unemployed women were more satisfied than others.
The study has revealed several improvements as well as problems in the provision of post-abortion care service in the studied health facilities.
Quality; Post abortion care; Abortion; Health facility
Uptake of postpartum family planning (PPFP) remains low in sub-Saharan Africa and very little is known about how pregnant women arrive at their decisions to adopt PPFP. This information is needed to guide the development of interventions to promote PPFP.
We conducted a survey among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in a rural district in Ghana. We used univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis to explore how knowledge of various family planning (FP) methods, past experience with their use and the acceptability of PPFP to male partners and close relations influenced the intention of pregnant women to adopt PPFP.
We interviewed 1914 pregnant women in four health facilities. About 84% considered PPFP acceptable, and 70% intended to adopt a method. The most preferred methods were injectables (31.5%), exclusive breastfeeding (16.7%), and oral contraceptive pills (14.8%). Women whose first choice of PPFP method were injectables were more likely to be women who had had past experience with its use (O.R = 2.07, 95% C.I. 1.50-2.87). Acceptability of PPFP by the pregnant woman (O.R. = 3.21, 1.64-6.26), perception of partner acceptability (O.R. = 3.20, 1.94-5.48), having had prior experience with the use of injectables (O.R. = 3.72, 2.61-5.30) were the strongest predictors of the intention to adopt PPFP. Conversely women who knew about the diaphragm (O.R. = 0.59, 0.38-0.93) and those who had past experience with IUD use (O.R. = 0.13, 0.05-0.38) were less likely to want to adopt PPFP.
Acceptability of PPFP to the pregnant woman, male partner approval, and past experience with the use of injectables are important factors in the PPFP decisions of women in this population. Antenatal and early postnatal care need to be adapted to take these factors into consideration.
Postpartum; Family planning; Contraception; Male; Ghana; Sub-Saharan Africa
Intrapartum complications are responsible for approximately half of all maternal deaths, and two million stillbirth and neonatal deaths per year. Prolonged second stage of labour is associated with potentially fatal maternal complications such as haemorrhage and infection and it is a major cause of stillbirth and newborn morbidity and mortality. Currently, the three main options for managing prolonged second stage of labour are forceps, vacuum extractor and caesarean section. All three clinical practices require relatively expensive equipment (e.g., a surgical theatre for caesarean section) and/or highly trained staff which are often not available in low resource settings. The specific aim of the proposed study is to test the safety and feasibility of a new device (Odón device) to effectively deliver the fetus during prolonged second stage of labour. The Odón device is a low-cost technological innovation to facilitate operative vaginal delivery and designed to minimize trauma to the mother and baby. These features combined make it a potentially revolutionary development in obstetrics, particularly for improving intrapartum care and reducing maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality in low resource settings.
This will be a hospital-based, multicenter prospective phase 1 cohort study with no control group. Delivery with the Odón device will be attempted under normal labour and non-emergency conditions on all the women enrolled in the study. One-hundred and thirty pregnant women will be recruited in tertiary care facilities in Argentina. Safety will be assessed by examining maternal and infant outcomes until discharge. Feasibility will be evaluated by observing successful expulsion of the fetal head after one-time application of the device under standardized conditions (full cervical dilation, anterior presentation, +2 station, normal fetal heart rate).
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR). Identifier:
Assisted vaginal delivery; Obstructed labour; Intrapartum complications; Odón device; Maternal mortality; Maternal morbidity; Fetal mortality
Endometriosis is a chronic condition whose pathophysiology is unknown, but there is evidence suggesting a link with oxidative stress. Paraoxonase is a serum enzyme which circulates associated with high-density lipoprotein (HDL). It acts protecting HDL and LDL of lipid peroxidation. We aimed to compare the serum levels of PON-1 activity in women with endometriosis in different stages of the disease (minimal/mild and moderate/severe).
80 infertile women with endometriosis diagnosed by laparoscopy/laparotomy with histologic confirmation of the disease were divided according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine classification in minimal/mild (n = 33) and moderate/severe (n = 47) cases. Paraoxonase activity and arilesterase activity were measured by spectrophotometry. Body mass index and fasting glucose levels were also determined.
The paraoxonase activity were 191.29 ± 22.41 U/l in women with minimal/mild endometriosis and 224.85 ± 21.50 U/l in women with moderate/severe disease (P = 0.274). Considering arilesterase level, the results showed 89.82 ± 4.61 U/l in women with minimal/mild endometriosis and 90.78 ± 3.43 U/l in moderate/severe disease (P = 0.888).
Evidence of lower paraoxonase activity in women with endometriosis was not found in this study. Besides, no difference was found considering minimal/mild or moderate/severe endometriosis.
Endometriosis; Paraoxonase; Oxidative stress; Infertility; High-density lipoprotein
The study was conducted to identify selected programmatic factors relating to low contraceptive-use in a low-performing rural sub-district in Sylhet division of Bangladesh.
A cross-sectional survey was carried out among 6983 currently-married women of reproductive age (MWRA) (15–49 years). To estimate the association between current contraceptive-use and other selected factors, multivariate analyse were performed, estimating the crude and adjusted odds ratios (OR), including 95% confidence intervals (CI).
The use of health facility by the MWRA in the last three months, distance from the residence to the nearest health facility, and contact with field workers in the last six months was significantly associated with contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR). There were potential differences regarding CPR, sources of contraceptive supply and Family Welfare Assistant (FWA) visit between hard to reach and non-hard to reach unions of Nabiganj sub-district.
Strategies should be devised to increase the accessibility of MWRA to contraceptive methods by increased partnership with non-public sector and increased contacts with outreach workers through introducing community volunteers, and mobile phones help lines, by organizing frequent satellite clinics (SCs) and making community clinics (CCs) functional. Innovative strategies should be piloted for improving use of contraception in such hard to reach and low performing locality.
Family planning; Programmatic factors; Contraceptives prevalence rate; Rural area; Bangladesh
Unmet need for family planning in the Pacific is among the highest in the world. Better understanding of required investments and associated benefits of increased access to family planning in the Pacific may assist prioritisation and funding.
We modelled the costs and associated health, demographic and economic impacts of reducing unmet need for family planning between 2010–2025 in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. Baseline data were obtained from census reports, Demographic and Health Surveys, and UN agency reports. Using a demographic modelling program we compared a scenario of “no change in unmet need” with two distinct scenarios: 1) all family planning needs met by 2020; and, 2) all needs met by 2050.
Meeting family planning needs by 2020 would increase prevalence of modern contraception in 2025 from 36.8 to 65.5% in Vanuatu and 28.5 to 37.6% in the Solomon Islands. Between 2010–2025 the average annual number of unintended pregnancies would decline by 68% in Vanuatu and 50% in the Solomon Islands, and high-risk births would fall by more than 20%, averting 2,573 maternal and infant deaths. Total fertility rates would fall from 4.1 to 2.2 in Vanuatu and 3.5 in the Solomon Islands, contributing to slowed population growth and lower dependency ratios. The direct cost of reducing unmet need by 2020 was estimated to be $5.19 million for Vanuatu and $3.36 million for the Solomon Islands between 2010–2025. Preventing unintended pregnancies would save $112 million in health and education expenditure.
In small island developing states such as Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, increasing investment in family planning would contribute to improved maternal and infant outcomes and substantial public sector savings.
Family planning; Contraception; Women’s Health; Infant Health; Adolescent Fertility; Population; Economic Development
Uterine rupture is one of the most devastating complications of labour that exposes the mother and foetus to grave danger hence contributing to the high maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity in Uganda. Every year, 6000 women die due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth, uterine rupture accounts for about 8% of all maternal deaths.
The objective of this study was to establish the incidence of uterine rupture, predisposing factors, maternal and fetal outcomes and modes of management at a regional referral university hospital in South-western Uganda.
Case–control design of women with uterine rupture during 2005–2006. Controls were women who had spontaneous vaginal delivery or were delivered by caesarean section without uterine rupture as a complication. For every case, three consecutive in-patient chart numbers were picked and retrieved as controls. All available case files, labour ward and theater records were reviewed.
A total of 83 cases of uterine rupture out of 10940 deliveries were recorded giving an incidence of uterine rupture of 1 in 131 deliveries. Predisposing factors for uterine rupture were previous cesarean section delivery(OR 5.3 95% CI 2.7-10.2), attending < 4 antenatal visits (OR 3.3 95% CI 1.6-6.9), parity ≥ 5(OR 3.67 95% CI 2.0-6.72), no formal education (OR 2.0 95% CI 1.0-3.9), use of herbs (OR15.2 95% CI 6.2-37.0), self referral (OR 6.1 95% CI 3.3-11.2) and living in a distance >5 km from the facility (OR 10.86 95% CI 1.46-81.03). There were 106 maternal deaths during the study period giving a facility maternal mortality ratio of 1034 /100,000 live births, there were 10 maternal deaths due to uterine rupture giving a case fatality rate of 12%.
Uterine rupture still remains one of the major causes of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality in Mbarara Regional referral Hospital in Western Uganda. Promotion of skilled attendance at birth, use of family planning among those at high risk, avoiding use of herbs during pregnancy and labour, correct use of partograph and preventing un necesarry c-sections are essential in reducing the occurences of uterine repture.
Uterine rupture; Maternal morbidity; Obstructed labour; Fetal outcome; Obstetric fistula; (previous) Caesarean section; Prolonged labour
Hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets (HELLP) syndrome is one of the most severe forms of preeclampsia and aggravates both maternal and perinatal prognosis. The systematic review available in Cochrane Library compared corticosteroid (dexamethasone, betamethasone, or prednisolone) given during pregnancy, just after delivery or in the postnatal period, or both before and after birth, with placebo or no treatment. Those receiving steroids showed significantly greater improvement in platelet counts which was greater for those receiving dexamethasone than those receiving betamethasone. There was no clear evidence of any effect of corticosteroids on substantive clinical outcomes. These benefits appear to be greater in Class I HELLP syndrome.
To determine the effectiveness of dexamethasone for accelerating postpartum recovery in patients with Class I HELLP syndrome in a multicenter randomized controlled trial.
The study is a triple blind randomized controlled trial including women with class I HELLP syndrome, and exclusion criteria were dexamethasone use in the last 15 days before diagnosis of HELLP syndrome; chronic use of corticosteroids; chronic diseases that alter laboratory parameters of HELLP Syndrome, such as chronic liver disease or purpura, patients unable to consent (coma or critical clinical condition) and without accompanying persons that may consent to study participation.
Eligible patients will be invited to participate and those who agree will be included in the study and receive placebo or dexamethasone according to a random list of numbers and subjects will receive the study medication every 12 hours for two days.
During the study the women will be subject to strict control of blood pressure and urine output. Laboratory tests will be performed at regular intervals during treatment and 24 hours and 48 hours after its suspension. If worsening of clinical or laboratory variables is observed, a rescue scheme of dexamethasone will be administrated. This proposal has already obtained approval of the local Institutional Review Board of the coordinating center (IMIP, Recife, Brazil), all other participating centers and of the National Council for Ethics in Research (CONEP) of the Brazilian Ministry of Health.
Clinical Trials Register under the number
Severe preeclampsia; HELLP syndrome; Corticosteroids; Randomized controlled trial
Preterm birth is a global problem in Perinatal and infant Health. Currently is gaining a growing attention. Rates of preterm birth have increased in most countries, producing a dramatic impact on public health. Factors of diverse nature have been associated to these trends.
In Chile, preterm birth has increased since 90. Simultaneously, the advanced demographic transition has modified the characteristics of woman population related to maternity.
The principal objective of this study is to analyze some sociodemographic characteristics of the maternal population over time, and their possible association to rates of preterm birth. The second aim is to identify groups of mothers at high risk of having a preterm child.
This population-based study examined all liveborn singletons in Chile from 1991 to 2008; divided in three periods. Preterm birth rates were measured as % births <37 weeks of gestation.
Logistic regression assessed the risk of preterm birth associated with mother’s age, parity, and marital status, expressed as crude and adjusted odds ratios.
Over time, rates of preterm birth increased in overall population, especially during the third period (2001–2008). In the same time, characteristics of maternal population changed: significant increase of extreme reproductive ages, significant decrease in parity and increase in mothers living without a partner.
Risk of preterm birth remained higher in groups of mothers: <18 and >38 years of age; without a partner; primiparas and grandmultiparas. However, global increase in preterm birth was not explained by the modification of socio demographics characteristics of maternal population.
Some socio demographic characteristics remained associated with preterm birth over time. These associations allowed identifying five groups of mothers at higher risk to have a preterm child in the population.
Increase in overall preterm birth affected all women, even those considered at “low sociodemographic risk” and the contribution of more recent period (2001–2008) to this increase is greater.
Then, studied factors couldn’t explain the increase in preterm birth. Further research will have to consider other factors affecting maternal population that could explain the observed trend of preterm birth.
Preterm birth; Maternal population; Risk factor; Sociodemographic characteristics
The role of male’s participation in reproductive healthcare is now well-recognized. The present study investigated the role of men in some selected reproductive health issues, characterizing their involvement, including factors influencing their participation in reproductive healthcare services.
This study was conducted in the working areas of urban and rural implemented by NGOs. The sample-size was determined scientifically. The systematic sampling procedure was used for selecting the sample. The study included 615 men aged 25-45 years. Bivariate analysis was performed between male’s involvement as the dependent variable with several independent variables. Logistic regression analysis was applied to assess the effects of risk factors on the participation of men in reproductive health care services.
The mean age of the respondents was little over 34 years while their mean years of schooling was 3.7, and their mean monthly income was about Tk 3,400 (US$ 1 = Tk 70) at the time of the study. Rickshaw-pulling and driving was the main occupation of the respondents from the urban while farming were main occupation in the rural area respectively. About two-thirds of the respondents discussed reproductive health issues with their wives and accompanied them to healthcare facilities. The current contraceptive-use rate was 63% among the men who attended the evening clinics. Results of bivariate analysis showed a significant association with education, occupation, income, access to media, and number of living children. Results of logistic regression analysis showed that secondary to higher education level, number of living children, paid employment status, long marital duration, and access to media were important correlates of males’ involvement in reproductive healthcare services.
The results imply that a greater integration of reproductive healthcare matters with the Millennium Development Goals and increasing perception of men through enrollment in various components of reproductive activities will produce synergistic effects.
Cross-sectional studies; Male participation; Reproductive health; Bangladesh
Female sexual dysfunction is a common condition that extremely affects reproductive health and quality of life. To assess this health condition, a valid and reliable questionnaire is required. The aim of this study was to translate and validate the Sexual Quality of Life-Female (SQOL-F) questionnaire in Iran.
Forward-backward procedure was applied to translate the questionnaire from English into Persian. After linguistic validation and pilot examination, a cross-sectional study was carried out and psychometric properties of the Iranian version of questionnaire were tested. One hundred reproductive aged, married, healthy and sexually active women completed the questionnaire. Reliability was assessed by internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha), and test-retest (intraclass correlation coefficient) analyses. In addition, content, and face validity were assessed and the factor structure of the questionnaire was extracted by performing exploratory factor analysis.
The mean age of participants was 33 (SD = 8.07) years, and the mean quality of sexual life score was 86.4 (SD = 1.78) ranging from 36 to 108. Most women were housewife (n = 92). Reliability evaluation revealed high internal consistency and good test-retest reliability. The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was 0.73 and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was 0.88. The mean scores for the content validity index (CVI) and the content validity ratio (CVR) were 0.91 and 0.84, respectively. The results of exploratory factor analysis (EFA) indicated a four-factor solution for the questionnaire that jointly accounted for 60.8% of variance observed.
The findings from this study suggest that the Iranian version of SQOL-F questionnaire has good psychometric properties and it will be useful to assess the female sexual quality of life in reproductive health care settings.
It is over 30 years since the first case of AIDS [Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome] was identified. Attention has been focused recently on the promotion of the “ABCs” of HIV prevention (being abstinent or delaying sex, remaining faithful to one sexual partner, and using condoms consistently during sexual intercourse). As programs that focus on ABCs to prevent heterosexual transmission HIV are rolled out, questions of how well university students who come from varied cultural contexts actually understand the terms and address challenges to adopt behaviors is unanswered. In Ethiopia, despite the mushrooming number of students in the higher learning institutions with the current figure being 210,000 students accommodated in 33 public and 72 private higher learning institutions, sexual and reproductive health services, are not delivered in an organized way. The objective of this study is to identify factors associated with Sexual abstinence among Wolaita Sodo University students to provide evidence for designing appropriate interventions.
A Cross-Sectional study was conducted among 750 undergraduate students selected from Wolaita Sodo University using a stratified simple random sampling technique during the academic year. Data were collected using structured self administered questionnaire, focus group discussion and in depth interview guides as tools for data collection. Ethical clearance was obtained from Jimma University and informed consent was obtained from the participants after explaining purpose of study. Statistical tests were employed wherever necessary at the significance level of 0.05.
All of the participants had heard about HIV/AIDS of which 97.3% had good knowledge. Higher proportions of male students were sexually active than their counter parts. Students with better knowledge on HIV AIDS were 6.6 (95%CI=1.6, 12.9) times more likely to abstain from sexual intercourse than their counter parts.
Knowledge of students about risk of HIV infection is strong predictors of sexual abstinence of students which were less observed among students who came from rural areas. The university needs to intensify strong behavior change communication using multiple strategies through the active involvement of students themselves within the university’s premises and in the surrounding community in collaboration with stakeholders to promote Sexual abstinence.
Sexual; Abstinence; Wolaita Sodo; University; Students Ethiopia
HIV Counselling and Testing (VCT) and knowledge about HIV are some key strategies in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in Ghana. However, HIV knowledge and utilization of VCT services among university students is low. The main objective was to determine the level of HIV/AIDS knowledge and to explore factors associated with the use HIV counselling and testing among private university students in Accra, Ghana.
Materials and methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted using structured questionnaires among 324 conveniently selected students enrolled at a privately owned tertiary institution in Accra, Ghana.
The respondents consisted of 56.2% males and 43.8% females aged 17 – 37 years. The mean HIV/AIDS knowledge score of was 7.70. There was a significant difference in knowledge of HIV/AIDS by gender where female students had more knowledge about HIV/AIDS than males [t (322) = 2.40, p = 0.017]. The ANOVA results showed that there was a significant difference in HIV/AIDS knowledge according to the age groups [F (3, 321) = 6.26, p = 0. 0001] and marital status [F (3, 321) = 4.86, p = 0. 008] of the sample. Over half of the participants had not tested for HIV, although over 95% of them knew where to access counseling and testing services. The study also revealed a significant association between demographic variables, testing for HIV and intention to test in the future. Participants who were never married (single), aged 17 – 20 years and had knowledge of two routes of HIV transmission were more likely to have taken an HIV test. Males were more likely to take an HIV test in the future than females. Majority of the students receive HIV/AIDS information from both print and electronic media, but few of them received such information from parents.
The students HIV knowledge was very good, yet HIV testing were low. Health education and HIV intervention programmes must not only provide accurate information, but must be made to help to equip private university students, especially females to test for HIV consistently.
HIV/AIDS; Counselling and testing; University students; Ghana
Use of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) continues to increase, yet little is known of the longer term health of ART conceived offspring. There are some adverse birth outcomes associated with ART conception but the subsequent developmental trajectory is unclear. Undertaking research in this area is challenging due the sensitive nature of the topic and the time elapsed since birth of the ART conceived young adults. The aim of this report is to describe a research protocol, including design and ethical considerations, used to compare the physical and psychosocial health outcomes of ART conceived young adults aged 18-28 years, with their spontaneously conceived peers.
This is a retrospective cohort study of mothers who conceived with ART in Victoria, Australia and gave birth to a singleton child between 1982 and 1992. A current address for each mother was located and a letter of invitation to participate in the study was sent by registered mail. Participation involved completing a telephone interview about her young adult offspring’s health and development from birth to the present. Mothers were also asked for consent for the researcher to contact their son/daughter to invite them to complete a structured telephone interview about their physical and psychosocial health. A comparison group of women living in Victoria, Australia, who had given birth to a spontaneously conceived singleton child between 1982 and 1992 was recruited from the general population using random digit dialling. Data were collected from them and their young adult offspring in the same way. Regression analyses were used to evaluate relationships between ART exposure and health status, including birth defects, chronic health conditions, hospital admissions, growth and sexual development. Psychosocial wellbeing, parental relationships and educational achievement were also assessed. Factors associated with the age of disclosure of ART conception were explored with the ART group only.
The conceptualization and development of this large project posed a number of methodological, logistical and ethical challenges which we were able to overcome. The lessons we learnt can assist others who are investigating the long-term health implications for ART conceived offspring.
Assisted reproductive technology; In vitro fertilization; Health; Development; Psychological adjustment; Follow-up
The editor of Reproductive Health would like to thank all our reviewers who have contributed to the journal in Volume 9 (2012). Peer review is essential to the reliable communication of science and we appreciate the effort and generosity of our reviewers who give their time to furthering the excellence and integrity of the journal.
Obstetric Fistula (OF) remains a major public health problem in areas where unattended obstructed labor is common and maternal mortality is high. Obstetric Fistula was able to be prevented, treated and eradicated in high-income countries; however, it still affects many women in low-income countries. To our knowledge, only few studies have described the prevalence and factors associated with Obstetric Fistula in Ethiopia in population-based surveys.
The aim of this study is to describe the prevalence and factors associated with Obstetric Fistula in Ethiopia.
The study used women’s dataset from the 2005 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey. The survey sample was designed to provide national, urban/rural, and regional representative estimates of key health and demographic indicators. The sample was selected using a two-stage stratified sampling process. OF was measured using questionnaire. The data is analyzed using descriptive and multivariate statistical methods to determine factors associated with Obstetric Fistula.
A total of 14,070 women of reproductive age group were included in the survey. Of which 23.2% ever heard of obstetric fistula. Among women who ever given birth (9,713), some 103 (1.06%, 95% CI; 0.89%-1.31%) experienced obstetric fistula in their lifetime, which means 10.6 per 1000 women who ever gave birth. It is estimated that in Ethiopia nearly 142,387 (95% CI: 115,080-169,694) of obstetric fistula patients exist. Those women who are circumcised had higher odds of reporting the condition (Chi square = 4.41, p-value = 0.036). In the logistic regression model women from rural areas were less likely to report obstetric fistula than their urban counterparts (OR = 0.21, 95% CI: 0.06-0.69). Women who gave birth 10 or more had higher odds of developing obstetric fistula than women with 1-4 child (OR = 4.34; 95% CI; 1.29-14.55).
Obstetric fistula is a major public and reproductive health concern in Ethiopia. This calls for increased access to emergency obstetric care, expansion of fistula repair service and active finding of women with OF with campaigns of ending fistula is recommended.