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1.  Lived experiences of women who developed uterine rupture following severe obstructed labor in Mulago hospital, Uganda 
Reproductive Health  2014;11:31.
Background
Maternal mortality is a major public health challenge in Uganda. Whereas uterine rupture remains a major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality, there is limited research into what happens to women who survive such severe obstetric complications. Understanding their experiences might delineate strategies to support survivors.
Methods
This qualitative study used a phenomenological approach to explore lived experiences of women who developed uterine rupture following obstructed labor. In-depth interviews initially conducted during their hospitalization were repeated 3–6 months after the childbirth event to explore their health and meanings they attached to the traumatic events and their outcomes. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis.
Results
The resultant themes included barriers to access healthcare, multiple “losses” and enduring physical, psychosocial and economic consequences. Many women who develop uterine rupture fail to access critical care needed due to failure to recognise danger signs of obstructed labor, late decision making for accessing care, geographical barriers to health facilities, late or failure to diagnose obstructed labor at health facilities, and failure to promptly perform caesarean section. Secondly, the sequel of uterine rupture includes several losses (loss of lives, loss of fertility, loss of body image, poor quality of life and disrupted marital relationships). Thirdly, uterine rupture has grim economic consequences for the survivors (with financial loss and loss of income during and after the calamitous events).
Conclusion
Uterine rupture is associated with poor quality of care due to factors that operate at personal, household, family, community and society levels, and results in dire physical, psychosocial and financial consequences for survivors. There is need to improve access to and provision of emergency obstetric care in order to prevent uterine rupture consequent to obstructed labor. There is also critical need to provide counselling and support to survivors to enable them cope with physical, social, psychological and economic consequences.
doi:10.1186/1742-4755-11-31
PMCID: PMC3997795  PMID: 24758354
2.  Male involvement during pregnancy and childbirth: men’s perceptions, practices and experiences during the care for women who developed childbirth complications in Mulago Hospital, Uganda 
Background
Development of appropriate interventions to increase male involvement in pregnancy and childbirth is vital to strategies for improving health outcomes of women with obstetric complications. The objective was to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences of male involvement in their partners’ healthcare during pregnancy and childbirth. The findings might inform interventions for increasing men’s involvement in reproductive health issues.
Methods
We conducted 16 in-depth interviews with men who came to the hospital to attend to their spouses/partners admitted to Mulago National Referral Hospital. All the spouses/partners had developed severe obstetric complications and were admitted in the high dependency unit. We sought to obtain detailed descriptions of men’s experiences, their perception of an ideal “father” and the challenges in achieving this ideal status. We also assessed perceived strategies for increasing male participation in their partners’ healthcare during pregnancy and childbirth. Data was analyzed by content analysis.
Results
The identified themes were: Men have different descriptions of their relationships; responsibility was an obligation; ideal fathers provide support to mothers during childbirth; the health system limits male involvement in childbirth; men have no clear roles during childbirth, and exclusion and alienation in the hospital environment. The men described qualities of the ideal father as one who was available, easily reached, accessible and considerate. Most men were willing to learn about their expected roles during childbirth and were eager to support their partners/wives/spouses during this time. However, they identified personal, relationship, family and community factors as barriers to their involvement. They found the health system unwelcoming, intimidating and unsupportive. Suggestions to improve men’s involvement include creating more awareness for fathers, male-targeted antenatal education and support, and changing provider attitudes.
Conclusions
This study generates information on perceived roles, expectations, experiences and challenges faced by men who wish to be involved in maternal health issues, particularly during pregnancy and childbirth. There is discord between the policy and practice on male involvement in pregnancy and childbirth. Health system factors that are critical to promoting male involvement in women’s health issues during pregnancy and childbirth need to be addressed.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-54
PMCID: PMC3916059  PMID: 24479421
3.  Doctoral training in Uganda: evaluation of mentoring best practices at Makerere university college of health sciences 
Background
Good mentoring is a key variable for determining success in completing a doctoral program. We identified prevailing mentoring practices among doctoral students and their mentors, identified common challenges facing doctoral training, and proposed some solutions to enhance the quality of the doctoral training experience for both candidates and mentors at Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS).
Methods
This cross-sectional qualitative evaluation was part of the monitoring and evaluation program for doctoral training. All doctoral students and their mentors were invited for a half-day workshop through the MakCHS mailing list. Prevailing doctoral supervision and mentoring guidelines were summarised in a one-hour presentation. Participants were split into two homogenous students’ (mentees’) and mentors’ groups to discuss specific issues using a focus group discussion (FGD) guide, that highlighted four main themes in regard to the doctoral training experience; what was going well, what was not going well, proposed solutions to current challenges and perceived high priority areas for improvement. The two groups came together again and the note-takers from each group presented their data and discussions were recorded by a note-taker.
Results
Twelve out of 36 invited mentors (33%) and 22 out of 40 invited mentees (55%) attended the workshop. Mentors and mentees noted increasing numbers of doctoral students and mentors, which provided opportunities for peer mentorship. Delays in procurement and research regulatory processes subsequently delayed students’ projects. Similarly, mentees mentioned challenges of limited; 1) infrastructure and mentors to support basic science research projects, 2) physical office space for doctoral students and their mentors, 3) skills in budgeting and finance management and 4) communication skills including conflict resolution. As solutions, the team proposed skills’ training, induction courses for doctoral students-mentor teams, and a Frequently Asked Questions’ document, to better inform mentors’, mentees’ expectations and experiences.
Conclusion
Systemic and infrastructural limitations affect the quality of the doctoral training experience at MaKCHS. Clinical and biomedical research infrastructure, in addition to training in research regulatory processes, procurement and finance management, communication skills and information technology, were highlighted as high priority areas for strategic interventions to improve mentoring within doctoral training of clinician scientists.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-9
PMCID: PMC3897930  PMID: 24410984
Mentorship; Doctoral training; Supervision; Capacity building; Health care; Low and middle income countries; Uganda
4.  Community awareness about risk factors, presentation and prevention and obstetric fistula in Nabitovu village, Iganga district, Uganda 
Background
Obstetric fistula is a worldwide problem that is devastating for women in developing countries. The cardinal cause of obstetric fistula is prolonged obstructed labour and delay in seeking emergency obstetric care. Awareness about obstetric fistula is still low in developing countries. The objective was to assess the awareness about risk factors of obstetric fistulae in rural communities of Nabitovu village, Iganga district, Eastern Uganda.
Methods
A qualitative study using focus group discussion for males and females aged 18-49 years, to explore and gain deeper understanding of their awareness of existence, causes, clinical presentation and preventive measures for obstetric fistula. Data was analyzed by thematic analysis.
Results
The majority of the women and a few men were aware about obstetric fistula, though many had misconceptions regarding its causes, clinical presentation and prevention. Some wrongly attributed fistula to misuse of family planning, having sex during the menstruation period, curses by relatives, sexually transmitted infections, rape and gender-based violence. However, others attributed the fistula to delays to access medical care, induced abortions, conception at an early age, utilization of traditional birth attendants at delivery, and some complications that could occur during surgical operations for difficult deliveries.
Conclusion
Most of the community members interviewed were aware of the risk factors of obstetric fistula. Some respondents, predominantly men, had misconceptions/myths about risk factors of obstetric fistula as being caused by having sex during menstrual periods, poor usage of family planning, being a curse.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-229
PMCID: PMC4028862  PMID: 24321441
5.  Timing and reasons for coming late for the first antenatal care visit by pregnant women at Mulago hospital, Kampala Uganda 
Background
Mothers who attend antenatal care late miss the opportunity of early detection of HIV and STDs, malaria and anaemia prophylaxis, health education and treatment or prevention of complications. Whereas many women in Mulago hospital make their first antenatal care visit after 20 weeks of gestation, the reasons for coming late are not documented. The objectives were to determine the gestation age at which pregnant women make their first antenatal care visit and the reasons for late coming.
Method
The study was conducted in June 2012 among women with a gestation age of more than 20 weeks on their first antenatal care visit. We collected data on gestation age (from weeks of amenorrhea or based on ultrasound scan) and reasons for coming late.
Results
Four hundred women participated in the study. Their mean age was 25.2 years with a standard deviation of 5.2 years. The majority of the participants were Catholics (n = 126, 31.5%), they lived in a distance of greater than five kilometers from the hospital (n = 201, 50.3%) and had attained secondary education (n = 220, 55.0%). The mean of their weeks of amenorrhea was 27.9 (± 4.6) weeks. The results showed that 291 (72.7%) of the study participants did not know the right gestation age at which a pregnant woman should start attending antenatal care. One hundred and ten (27.5%) agreed that they did not have money for transport to bring them to the hospital while 37 (9.3%) thought that they had to pay for the antenatal care services. Two hundred thirteen (53.3%) reported that they did not have any problem with their current pregnancy and so they saw no reason to come early for antenatal care, even though some of these knew the right gestation age at which they should make their first antenatal care visit.
Conclusion
Pregnant women who come late for antenatal care in Mulago hospital, Uganda are not well-informed about the right gestation age at which they should make their first antenatal care visit and/or of the importance of early attendance at antenatal care.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-121
PMCID: PMC3665546  PMID: 23706142
Timing of first antenatal visit; Antenatal care; Mulago Hospital
6.  Intimate partner violence among women with HIV infection in rural Uganda: critical implications for policy and practice 
BMC Women's Health  2011;11:50.
Background
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major public health problem in Africa and worldwide. HIV infected women face increased IPV risk. We assessed the prevalence and factors associated with IPV among HIV infected women attending HIV care in Kabale hospital, Uganda.
Methods
This cross-sectional study was conducted among 317 HIV infected women attending Kabale regional hospital HIV treatment centre, from March to December 2010. Participants were interviewed using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Data was collected on socio-demographic variables, social habits, and IPV (using the abuse assessment screen and the Severity of Violence against Women Scale to identify physical, sexual and psychological violence). Characteristics of the participants who reported IPV were compared with those who did not. Multivariate logistic-regression analysis was conducted to analyze factors that were independently associated with IPV.
Results
The mean age of 317 respondents was 29.7 years. Twenty two (6.9%) were adolescents and 233 (73.5%) were married or cohabiting. The mean age of the spouse was 33.0 years.
One hundred and eleven (35.0%) were currently on antiretroviral therapy. Lifetime prevalence of IPV (physical or sexual) was 36.6%. In the preceding 12 months, IPV (any type) was reported by 93 respondents (29.3%). This was physical for 55 (17.6%), and sexual /psychological for 38 (12.1%). On multivariate multinomial logistic regression analysis, there was a significant but inverse association between education level and physical partner violence (adjusted relative risk (ARR) 0.50, confidence limits (95% CI) 0.31-0.82, p-value = 0.007). There was a significant but inverse association between education level of respondent and sexual/psychological violence (ARR 0.47 95%CI (0.25-0.87), p-value = 0.017) Likewise, there was a significant inverse association between the education level of the spouse and psychological/sexual violence (ARR 0.57, 95% CI 0.25-0.90, p-value = 0.018). Use of antiretroviral therapy was associated with increased prevalence of any type of violence (physical, sexual or psychological) with ARR 3.04 (95%CI 1.15-8.45, p-value = 0.032).
Conclusion
Almost one in three women living with HIV had suffered intimate partner violence in the preceding 12 months. Nearly one in five HIV patients reported physical violence, and about one in every seven HIV patients reported sexual/psychological violence. Likewise, women who were taking antiretroviral drugs for HIV treatment were more likely to report any type of intimate partner violence (physical, sexual or psychological). The implication of these findings is that women living with HIV especially those on antiretroviral drugs should be routinely screened for intimate partner violence.
doi:10.1186/1472-6874-11-50
PMCID: PMC3231867  PMID: 22093904
7.  Systematic review of the magnitude and case fatality ratio for severe maternal morbidity in sub-Saharan Africa between 1995 and 2010 
Background
Analysis of severe maternal morbidity (maternal near misses) provides information on the quality of care. We assessed the prevalence/incidence of maternal near miss, maternal mortality and case fatality ratio through systematic review of studies on severe maternal morbidity in sub-Saharan Africa.
Methods
We examined studies that reported prevalence/incidence of severe maternal morbidity (maternal near misses) during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period between 1996 and 2010. We evaluated the quality of studies (objectives, study design, population studied, setting and context, definition of severe acute obstetric morbidity and data collection instruments). We extracted data, using a pre-defined protocol and criteria, and estimated the prevalence or incidence of maternal near miss. The case-fatality ratios for reported maternal complications were estimated.
Results
We identified 12 studies: six were cross-sectional, five were prospective and one was a retrospective review of medical records. There was variation in the setting: while some studies were health facility-based (at the national referral hospital, regional hospital or various district hospitals), others were community-based studies. The sample size varied from 557 women to 23,026. Different definitions and terminologies for maternal near miss included acute obstetric complications, severe life threatening obstetric complications and severe obstetric complications. The incidence/prevalence ratio and case-fatality ratio for maternal near misses ranged from 1.1%-10.1% and 3.1%-37.4% respectively. Ruptured uterus, sepsis, obstructed labor and hemorrhage were the commonest morbidities that were analyzed. The incidence/prevalence ratio of hemorrhage ranged from 0.06% to 3.05%, while the case fatality ratio for hemorrhage ranged from 2.8% to 27.3%. The prevalence/incidence ratio for sepsis ranged from 0.03% to 0.7%, while the case fatality ratio ranged from 0.0% to 72.7%.
Conclusion
The incidence/prevalence ratio and case fatality ratio of maternal near misses are very high in studies from sub-Saharan Africa. Large differences exist between countries on the prevalence/incidence of maternal near misses. This could be due to different contexts/settings, variation in the criteria used to define the maternal near misses morbidity, or rigor used carrying out the study. Future research on maternal near misses should adopt the WHO recommendation on classification of maternal morbidity and mortality.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-11-65
PMCID: PMC3203082  PMID: 21955698
8.  Male involvement in birth preparedness and complication readiness for emergency obstetric referrals in rural Uganda 
Reproductive Health  2011;8:12.
Background
Every pregnant woman faces risk of life-threatening obstetric complications. A birth-preparedness package promotes active preparation and assists in decision-making for healthcare seeking in case of such complications. The aim was to assess factors associated with birth preparedness and complication-readiness as well as the level of male participation in the birth plan among emergency obstetric referrals in rural Uganda.
Methods
This was a cross-sectional study conducted at Kabale regional hospital maternity ward among 140 women admitted as emergency obstetric referrals in antenatal, labor or the postpartum period. Data was collected on socio-demographics and birth preparedness and what roles spouses were involved in during developing the birth plan. Any woman who attended antenatal care at least 4 times, received health education on pregnancy and childbirth danger signs, saved money for emergencies, made a plan of where to deliver from and made preparations for a birth companion, was deemed as having made a birth plan. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to analyze factors that were independently associated with having a birth plan.
Results
The mean age was 26.8 ± 6.6 years, while mean age of the spouse was 32.8 ± 8.3 years. Over 100 (73.8%) women and 75 (55.2%) of their spouses had no formal education or only primary level of education respectively. On multivariable analysis, Primigravidae compared to multigravidae, OR 1.8 95%CI (1.0-3.0), education level of spouse of secondary or higher versus primary level or none, OR 3.8 95%CI (1.2-11.0), formal occupation versus informal occupation of spouse, OR 1.6 95%CI (1.1-2.5), presence of pregnancy complications OR 1.4 95%CI (1.1-2.0) and the anticipated mode of delivery of caesarean section versus vaginal delivery, OR 1.6 95%CI (1.0-2.4) were associated with having a birth plan.
Conclusion
Individual women, families and communities need to be empowered to contribute positively to making pregnancy safer by making a birth plan.
doi:10.1186/1742-4755-8-12
PMCID: PMC3118172  PMID: 21548976
9.  Perception and valuations of community-based education and service by alumni at Makerere University College of Health Sciences 
Background
Training of health professionals can be deliberately structured to enhance rural recruitment by exposing the trainees to the realities of rural life and practice through Community-Based Education and Service (COBE) programs. Few studies have surveyed the alumni of these programs to establish their post-university views and whether the positive impact of COBE programs endures into the post-university life. This study surveyed the alumni of COBE at Makerere to obtain their perceptions of the management and administration of COBE and whether COBE had helped develop their confidence as health workers, competence in primary health care and willingness and ability to work in rural communities.
Objectives
• To assess the efficiency of the management and administration of COBES.
• To obtain the views of the impact of COBES on its alumni.
Methods
A mixed qualitative and quantitative study was conducted using focus group discussions (FGD) and a telephone administered questionnaire. From a total of 300 COBES alumni 150 were contacted. Twenty four Alumni (13 females and 11 males) were purposefully selected by discipline, gender and place of work, and invited for the focus group discussion. The discussions were transcribed and analyzed using a manifest content analysis table. The thematic issues from the FGDs were used to develop a structured questionnaire which was administered by telephone by the authors. The data were entered into Microsoft excel template and exported to Stata for analysis. The findings of the telephone survey were used to cross-match the views expressed during the focus group discussions.
Results
The alumni almost unanimously agree that the initial three years of COBES were very successful in terms of administration and coordination. COBES was credited for contributing to development of confidence as health workers, team work, communication skills, competence in primary health care and willingness to work in rural areas. The COBES alumni also identified various challenges associated with administration and coordination of COBES at Makerere.
Conclusions
This study has established that the positive impact of COBES endures with the alumni of the program. Health planners should take advantage of the impact of COBES and provide it with more support.
doi:10.1186/1472-698X-11-S1-S5
PMCID: PMC3059477  PMID: 21411005
10.  Lessons learnt from comprehensive evaluation of community-based education in Uganda: a proposal for an ideal model community-based education for health professional training institutions 
Background
Community-based education (CBE) can provide contextual learning that addresses manpower scarcity by enabling trainees acquire requisite experiences, competence, confidence and values. In Uganda, many health professional training institutions conduct some form of community-based education (CBE). However, there is scanty information on the nature of the training: whether a curriculum exists (objectives, intended outcomes, content, implementation strategy), administration and constraints faced. The objective was to make a comprehensive assessment of CBE as implemented by Ugandan health professional training institutions to document the nature of CBE conducted and propose an ideal model with minimum requirements for health professional training institutions in Uganda.
Methods
We employed several methods: documentary review of curricula of 22 institutions, so as to assess the nature, purpose, outcomes, and methods of instruction and assessment; site visits to these institutions and their CBE sites, to assess the learning environment (infrastructure and resources); in-depth interviews with key people involved in running CBE at the institutions and community, to evaluate CBE implementation, challenges experienced and perceived solutions.
Results
CBE was perceived differently ranging from a subject, a course, a program or a project. Despite having similar curricula, institutions differ in the administration, implementation and assessment of CBE. Objectives of CBE, the curricula content and implementation strategies differ in similar institutions. On collaborative and social learning, most trainees do not reside in the community, though they work on group projects and write group reports. Lectures and skills demonstrations were the main instruction methods. Assessment involved mainly continuous assessment, oral or written reports and summative examination.
Conclusion
This assessment identified deficiencies in the design and implementation of CBE at several health professional training institutions, with major flaws identified in curriculum content, supervision of trainees, inappropriate assessment, trainee welfare, and underutilization of opportunities for contextual and collaborative learning. Since CBE showed potential to benefit the trainees, community and institutions, we propose a model that delivers a minimum package of CBE and overcomes the wide variation in the concept, conduct and implementation of CBE.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-7
PMCID: PMC3056836  PMID: 21362181
11.  Factors that predict fertility desires for people living with HIV infection at a support and treatment centre in Kabale, Uganda 
Reproductive Health  2010;7:27.
Background
Studies from different contexts worldwide indicate that HIV positive patients manifest high-risk sexual behavior characterized by fertility intentions, multiple sexual partners, non-use of contraceptives and non-disclosure of HIV status to their sex partners. The objective was to analyze fertility desires among persons living with HIV at a treatment centre in Kabale Hospital, Southwestern Uganda.
Methods
From January to August 2009, we interviewed 400 HIV positive patients seeking care using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. We assessed socio-demographic variables, reproductive history, sexuality and fertility desires. At bivariate and multivariate analysis, characteristics of participants who reported or did not report desire to have a child in the near future were compared.
Results
Of the 400 respondents, (25.3%) were male, 47.3% were aged 25-34 years, over 85% were currently married or had ever been married, and the 62% had primary level of education or less. Over 17% had produced a child since the HIV diagnosis was made, and 28.6% reported that they would like to have a child in the near future. Age of the respondent, being single (versus being ever-married) and whether any of the respondents' children had died were inversely associated with fertility intentions.
Conclusion
Factors inversely associated with fertility intentions were age of the respondent, marital status and whether any of the respondents' children had died. Use of antiretroviral therapy was not associated with fertility intentions.
doi:10.1186/1742-4755-7-27
PMCID: PMC2964526  PMID: 20937095
12.  Perceptions of newly admitted undergraduate medical students on experiential training on community placements and working in rural areas of Uganda 
BMC Medical Education  2010;10:47.
Background
Uganda has an acute problem of inadequate human resources partly due to health professionals' unwillingness to work in a rural environment. One strategy to address this problem is to arrange health professional training in rural environments through community placements. Makerere University College of Health Sciences changed training of medical students from the traditional curriculum to a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum in 2003. This curriculum is based on the SPICES model (student-centered, problem-based, integrated, community-based and services oriented). During their first academic year, students undergo orientation on key areas of community-based education, after which they are sent in interdisciplinary teams for community placements. The objective was to assess first year students' perceptions on experiential training through community placements and factors that might influence their willingness to work in rural health facilities after completion of their training.
Methods
The survey was conducted among 107 newly admitted first year students on the medical, nursing, pharmacy and medical radiography program students, using in-depth interview and open-ended self-administered questionnaires on their first day at the college, from October 28-30, 2008. Data was collected on socio-demographic characteristics, motivation for choosing a medical career, prior exposure to rural health facilities, willingness to have part of their training in rural areas and factors that would influence the decision to work in rural areas.
Results
Over 75% completed their high school from urban areas. The majority had minimal exposure to rural health facilities, yet this is where most of them will eventually have to work. Over 75% of the newly admitted students were willing to have their training from a rural area. Perceived factors that might influence retention in rural areas include the local context of work environment, support from family and friends, availability of continuing professional training for career development and support of co-workers and the community.
Conclusion
Many first year students at Makerere University have limited exposure to health facilities in rural areas and have concerns about eventually working there.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-10-47
PMCID: PMC2904351  PMID: 20573221
13.  Factors associated with persistent hypertension after puerperium among women with pre-eclampsia/eclampsia in Mulago hospital, Uganda 
Background
Women with severe pre-eclampsia/eclampsia are at risk of developing chronic hypertension in future. Chronic hypertension may manifest initially as persistent hypertension at the end of the puerperium. The objective was to determine the incidence and maternal biochemical, hematological and socio-demographic risk factors for persistent hypertension in patients with pre-eclampsia/eclampsia.
Methods
This was a prospective cohort study conducted from November 2008 to May 2009 at Mulago hospital labor ward and postnatal clinic. Participants were 200 women managed for pre-eclampsia/eclampsia and followed up to the end of the puerperium. Data was collected through using pre-coded interviewer-administered questionnaires, checking medical records and laboratory investigations. STATA (release 9) software was used for data analysis. At bivariate analysis, the relative risk of persistent hypertension was estimated at the 95% confidence level. Using multivariate logistic regression analysis, factors that were independently associated with persistent hypertension were evaluated.
Results
Fifty four (27.7%) out of the total 195 women had persistent hypertension after puerperium. Serum creatinine and the age of the patient were the only factors associated with persistence of hypertension after puerperium.
Conclusion
Nearly every one in four mothers with pre-eclampsia/eclampsia are at risk of persistent hypertension after the puerperium. Serum creatinine, serum uric acid and participants' age were the only factors independently associated with persistence of hypertension after the puerperium.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-10-12
PMCID: PMC2848130  PMID: 20222993
14.  Negotiating the transition from adolescence to motherhood: Coping with prenatal and parenting stress in teenage mothers in Mulago hospital, Uganda 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:83.
Background
Adolescence is a transitional stage from childhood to adulthood that is characterized by physical, physiological, psychosocial and behavioral changes that are influenced to a large extent by the age, culture and socialization of the individual. To explore what adolescent mothers perceive as their struggles during the period of transition from childhood to parenthood (through motherhood) and to describe strategies employed in coping with stress of pregnancy, motherhood and parenthood.
Methods
Longitudinal qualitative study involving twenty two in-depth interviews and six focus group discussions among pregnant adolescents who were followed from pregnant to delivery, from January 2004 to August 2005. Participant were selected by theoretical sampling and data was analyzed using grounded theory.
Results
Overall, young adolescents reported more anxiety, loss of self esteem (when they conceived), difficulty in accessing financial, moral and material support from parents or partners and stigmatization by health workers when they sought care from health facilities. Three strategies by which adolescent mothers cope with parenting and pregnancy stress that were described as utilizing opportunities (thriving), accommodating the challenges (bargaining and surviving), or failure (despairing), and varied in the extent to which they enabled adolescents to cope with the stress.
Conclusion
Adolescents on the transition to motherhood have variable needs and aspirations and utilize different strategies to cope with the stress of pregnancy and parenthood.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-83
PMCID: PMC2297507  PMID: 18318894

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