Women's Reports of Severe (Near-miss) Obstetric Complications in Benin

Authors

  • Véronique Filippi,

    1. Véronique Filippi is Lecturer, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Maternal Health Programme, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, UK.
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  • Carine Ronsmans,

    1. Carine Ronsmans is Senior Lecturer, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Maternal Health Programme, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, UK.
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  • Timothée Gandaho,

    1. Timothée Gandaho is Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Population Council, Dakar, Senegal (formerly Research Coordinator, Centre de Recherche en Reproduction Humaine et en Démographic, Benin).
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  • Wendy Graham,

    1. Wendy Graham is Director, Dugald Baird Centre for Research on Women's Health, Aberdeen, UK.
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  • Eusèbe Alihonou,

    1. Eusèbe Alihonou is Director, Centre de Recherche en Reproduction Humaine et en Démographic, Cotonou, Benin.
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  • Paul Santos

    1. Paul Santos is Obstetrician, Clinique Universitaire de Gynécologic et d'Obstétrique, Cotonou, Benin.
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Abstract

This study examines the validity of a survey instrument on near-miss obstetric complications. Three groups of women–with severe complications, with mild complications, and with a normal delivery–were identified retrospectively in three hospitals in South Benin and interviewed at home. The concept of “near-miss” was used to identify women with severe episodes of morbidity. The questionnaire was able to detect, with some accuracy, eclamptic fits, abnormal bleeding in the third trimester for a recall period of at least three to four years, and all episodes of bleeding independent of timing within a period of two years. Questions concerning dystocia and infections of the genital tract generated disappointing results except when information on treatment was included. Overall, better results were achieved for antepartum and acute events. Severity made a positive difference only in the case of eclampsia, with an increase in sensitivity. The implications of the results for using women's recall of obstetric complications in surveys are discussed.

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