BACKGROUND: Despite the high prevalence of malaria among pregnant women and its associated complications, the level of compliance with insecticide-treated nets (ITN) remains very low. Motivation and self-efficacy have been reported as important determinants of health behaviour, and may be important factors to consider in developing health intervention programmes. The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge, motivation and self-efficacy of ITN use, and their association with its practice, among pregnant women in a secondary health centre in Maiduguri.
METHODS: The study utilized a cross-sectional study design, using a structured and pre-tested questionnaire to obtain information from 380 respondents. Respondents were classified as ITN users if they slept under an ITN for at least 3 days in a week, while those who did not at all, or slept under it less frequently were classified as ITN non-users. Chi squared test was performed to test the bivariate association between ITN use and each of the items of the questionnaire. A further multivariate logistic regression was performed to determine the predictors of ITN use.
RESULTS: The respondents' ages ranged from 15 to 45 years, with median (interquartile range) age of 25 (8) years. Eighty percent of them were aware of ITN, but 50.5% believed ITNs could be dangerous. Only 5.5% and 0.8% respectively felt that sleeping under and ITN was either just bad or very bad for their health. Thirty-five percent of the respondents were ITN users. Not having a previous miscarriage (OR = 2.38; 95% CI 1.41-4.03, p = 0.001), knowledge that ITNs were not to be washed after every 1 month (OR = 3.60; 95% CI 1.18-11.06), significant others thinking they should sleep under an ITN (OR = 3.06; 95% CI 1.35-6.96), ability to effectively persuade others to sleep under an ITN (OR = 2.37; 95% CI 1.14-4.94) were significantly associated with ITN use.
CONCLUSIONS: A large proportion of pregnant women in this study were not sleeping under ITNs. The development of health promotion interventions aimed at boosting their self-efficacies for ITN use, and improving social support from their spouses are, therefore, recommended. Health education on ITN use should also be incorporated into post-abortal management.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.