Knowledge, attitudes and prescribing pattern of emergency contraceptives by health care workers in Kampala, Uganda
Byamugisha, Josaphat K.
Mirembe, Florence M.
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Health care workers (HCWs) play an important role in making emergency contraceptives (ECs) available to clients. They can influence accessibility positively through counselling, prescribing or advocating the use of ECs. However, in some settings, HCWs have been blamed for unfavourable attitudes and lack of accurate information. Objective . To assess the knowledge, attitudes and prescribing pattern of EC by HCWs in Kampala district, Uganda. Methods. The total number of health units at different levels of health care delivery in Kampala (894) was obtained. Probability proportional to size (PPS) technique of sampling was applied. Some 247 HCWs completed a selfadministered questionnaire on their knowledge about EC, including methods, mechanism of action, prescription of EC, sources of information, attitudes towards EC, and if and how it should be made available. Results . Of the HCWs, 80% had knowledge of ECs. However, 1 in every 4 was not sure about the time limit within which EC is effective. A total of 50% of the participants had obtained information from a physician (26.4%) or from a training school (24%). The Yuzpe regimen was the most commonly mentioned and prescribed method of EC. The HCWs attitudes to EC were generally positive, and it was suggested that the community should be informed and sensitised about EC. There was a significant difference between having had a family planning educational update or not in the last year and knowledge of EC (p 0.005). Conclusion . Most HCWs were aware of EC, but some lacked important knowledge on its use or available methods. Recommendation. HCWs should have regular (annual) in-service training in reproductive health issues, such as counselling on EC. This will enable them to keep up to date with the current evidence-based recommendations in the field of contraceptive technology.
- Medical and Health Sciences