Emergency contraception: Survey of knowledge, attitudes and practice of health care professionals in Ibadan, Nigeria

A. O. Adekunle, A. O. Arowojolu, A. A. Adedimeji, M. A. Okunlola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This survey was conducted to determine the knowledge, and prescribing attitudes of emergency contraception among healthcare professionals in Ibadan, Nigeria. A questionnaire was administered to 735 health care professionals in selected healthcare facilities in Ibadan. These facilities were randomly selected as part of an ongoing programme designed to introduce emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) as a clinic-based method of family planning in service delivery outlets in the city. The response rate was 87.5%, comprising nurses (59.3%)) and physicians (25.0%). Others were pharmacists, social workers and administrators. The results revealed that healthcare professionals' knowledge of various methods that can be used emergency contraception is very low: Less than half (35.1%) of the respondents were aware that combined oestrogen/progestin or progestin-only pills can be used as emergency contraception. Similarly, only 26.7% and 13.3'%, of the respondents were aware that intrauterine contraceptive devices and mifepristone respectively could be used as emergency contraception. While only 16.3% of the respondents had ever prescribed the combined pills as emergency contraception, 10.9% and 8.2% had prescribed progestin-only pills and intrauterine contraceptive devices for this purpose in the past. Circumstances under which emergency contraception could be used vary among the respondents but 71.4% and 64.4% were of the opinion that condom breakage and sexual assault would be appropriate indications for its use. Two main sources, hospitals (68.4%)) and pharmacies (8.8%) were identified by participants. It is apparent that one of the major barriers to frequent use of emergency contraception in Ibadan is the lack of awareness of its use by healthcare professionals. Therefore, there is an urgent need to educate these practitioners and include emergency contraception in the family planning curriculum of nursing and medical schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-289
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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