Background and objective: Labor pain is one of the most severe forms of pain that women experience throughout their lifetime. Many pregnant women decide to have an epidural anesthesia to cope with labor pain. This study has focused on general awareness about epidural anesthesia among pregnant women in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional hospital-based study using a self-administered questionnaire, conducted in King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center and International Medical Centre. The study was carried out from July to September 2016 and included all pregnant women who were having a routine antenatal care. They were asked about four main topics that tapped their knowledge on epidural anesthesia. A total of 384 questionnaires were returned and analyzed. Data were analyzed by SPSS version 21 using chi-square and multivariate logistic regression.

Results: According to multivariate logistic regression, women aged between 21–35 years were more likely to opt for an epidural anesthesia (EPA) than those aged less than 20 years, but women aged >35 years were less likely to select EPA, compared with women < 20 years old. Women who were previously exposed to EPA were 2.14 times more likely to prefer EPA during their current pregnancy than those who were not previously exposed (O.R 95% C.I: 1.123–3.66, p=0.006). Those who believed that EPA was commonly used by other women in the Kingdom were also 1.41 times more likely to report their preference to EPA (O.R 95% C.I: 1.15–1.74, p=0.001). 

Conclusion: This study demonstrates a lack of knowledge about EPA in certain countries but is better than in some other countries. In an aim to fill this gap, it is recommended that information about EPA must be given to all women during the antenatal visit either by the obstetrician, anesthetist, or through flyers and brochures.


Keywords: Epidural analgesia, Regional anesthesia, Labor pain
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