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Margaret M. Opiah
Department of Nursing, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
January, 2001
BSc, MSc(Nursing), Med (Guidance and counselling), Diploma in Health management, RN, RM
Lecturer, Department of Maternal and Child Health, Faculty of Nursing, Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Currently PhD Candidate in Psychology
Formerly, Deputy Director of Nursing, Ministry of Health, Cross River State, Nigeria


A considerable number of women suffer complications resulting from Labour and childbirth and some of these complications result in maternal or infant mortality. While this problem can be significantly reduced through the use of the Partograph to monitor Labour, it is uncertain whether midwives in most of the hospitals are knowledgeable about its use to monitor Labour. The purpose of this study was to examine the factors that mediate the utilization of the Partograph in monitoring Labour in the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) and the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH), both in Bayelsa State. The study was specifically aimed at the following objectives: to determine midwives knowledge about the use of the Partograph during Labour, compare the extent of use among midwives in the selected Hospitals, identify factors that hinder its use and find out the relationship between the years of experience and knowledge of the use of the Partograph by midwives in the selected hospitals. Role theory formed the theoretical framework to the study.

A descriptive survey design was utilized, using quantitative method of data collection (Structured questionnaire). A total of 165 midwives purposively selected from the FMC (79) and NDUTH (86) formed the study population. Data was analyzed using descriptive techniques while hypotheses were tested using chi-square and t-test with results taken at 0.05 alpha level.

Results revealed that majority of respondents 84 per cent knew what the Partograph is and 92.7 per cent of respondents indicated that the use of the Partograph reduces maternal and child mortality. About 50.6 per cent respondents in FMC and 98.8 percent in NDUTH indicated that the Partograph is routinely utilized in their centres. Assessment of utilized Partograph charts revealed that 18 (37.5%) out 48 in FMC and 17 (32.6%) out of 52 in NDUTH were properly filled. The study also revealed some hindering factors in the utilization of the Partograph which are:-Non-availability of the Partograph 30.3%, shortage of staff 19.4%, little or no knowledge in the use of the Partograph 22.2%, and 8.6 percent indicated it is time consuming. A significant relationship existed between knowledge of the Partograph and its utilization of the Partograph (x 2 = 32.298. Df = 1; P less than 0.01), and between midwives years of experience and utilization of Partograph.

In conclusion, the study unveiled that despite midwives good knowledge of the Partograph, there existed poor utilization to monitor women in Labour in both centres. Training of midwives on Partograph, as well as periodic workshops and seminars should be seen as vital to the saving of lives especially on the safety of women undergoing Labour.

ISSN: 2071-2928 (print) | ISSN: 2071-2936 (online)

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