Epidural Analgesia During Childbirth: Women's Perspective in Saudi Arabia

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Hanan M. Shamrani http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9345-5087
Arwa F. Shamrani
Fai J. Almagrabi
Safwan O. Tayeb
Rahma S. Bukhari
Steve M. Harakeh https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7512-8787


Epidural analgesia, Childbirth, Attitude, Saudi Arabia, Cesarean section


Background: Women worldwide may experience excruciating pain during childbirth. Epidural analgesia, sometimes used to relieve pain, has been endorsed as a safe and efficient procedure. The objective of this survey was to evaluate the attitude of women towards the use of epidural analgesia.

Materials and Methods: Data was collected via interviews based on a standard questionnaire and analyzed using the latest version of SPSS.

Results: The results indicate that the participants were knowledgeable about the use of epidural analgesia and thought it should be available in future deliveries and cesarean sections. Those with a history of pregnancy thought that pain was unnecessary and that epidural analgesia should be made available. Safety concerns were the primary reason women gave for not wanting to use epidural analgesia. Educational level, income, age and health insurance status influenced women’s opinions concerning epidural analgesia use during labor. The main source of information reported was family and friends, followed by physician advice.

Conclusion/Recommendation: Most women surveyed were informed about the use of epidural analgesia during labor. Although half believed labor pain was natural, they thought epidural analgesia should be administered to ease the pain, and 12.1% even felt that pain during delivery was unnecessary. These numbers suggest that the use of epidural analgesia for labor pain management is acceptable in this healthcare setting. However, a nationwide study with a larger sample size may be more informative owing to the significant association between socio-demographic factors and women's attitudes towards epidural analgesia use during labor.

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