Maternal Perspectives of Prenatal Sonogram in a North-Eastern Population in Nigeria

Original article


Ugwu AC, Osungbade EO, Erondu FO

1-Department of Medical Radiography and Radiological Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus, Anambra State 2-Department of Medical Radiography, University of Maiduguri, Borno State and 3-Department of Clinical Imaging, Image Diagnostics, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Libyan J Med 2009; 4(4):D140-142


Limited information exists on maternal perspectives of prenatal sonogram in north-eastern Nigeria. This study was aimed at documenting the views and expectations of pregnant women concerning prenatal sonogram as well as their level of awareness of its purpose, limitations and safety in a predominantly Moslem society. A survey was carried out on a convenience sample of 150 patients referred from ante-natal clinics for prenatal sonogram, by administering semi-structured questionnaires. The results show that 61.3% of the women had prenatal sonogram, with little or no information about the purpose, capabilities and limitations of the procedure. 24.7% had neither formal western nor Islamic educational background that may have influenced their perceptions. Most of the women (81.3%) were sponsored by either government or their husbands, 72.7% perceived sonogram to be affordable and 63.4% viewed sonographic results as reliable. The perceived main reasons for having a prenatal sonogram were to determine the expected date of delivery and foetal well-being, and to obtain reassurance of maternal health. Sex determination and number of foetuses were the least considered reasons. The study indicates that providing pregnant women with adequate information and sensitising them to the purpose and limitations of sonograms is necessary to guarantee its rational utilisation. Improving patient care, enhancing the skill of sonographers and providing more facilities would improve the services and patients’ perspectives of prenatal sonography.

Keywords: Sonogram, Perspectives, Prenatal, Maternal.