HEALTH NEEDS AND HEALTH PROBLEMS OF CHILD BEARING WOMEN IN AYAMELUM LGA OF ANAMBRA STATE

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ABSTRACT


The study was designed to determine the health needs and health problems of child bearing women in Ayamelum LGA of Anembra State. The cross-sectional survey research design was used for the study; and the instrument for data collection was the questionnaire. The population of the study consisted of child bearing women in Ayamulum LGA. A sample of 632 subjects was selected for the study. The major findings of the study were that: physical health needs with the grand mean of 2.53 are very much needed among the child bearing mothers in Ayamelum LGA; emotional health needs of 2.53 are very much needed among the child bearing mothers in Ayamulum LGA; social health needs with grand mean 2.17 are slightly needed among he child bearing mothers in Ayamelum LGA; economic health needs with grand mean of 2.54 are very much needed among the child bearing mothers in Ayamelum LGA; physical health problems with grand mean of 2.21 is slightly a problem among the child bearing mothers in Ayamuelum LGA; emotional health problems with grand mean of 1.6 is slightly a problem among the child bearing mothers in Ayamelum LGA; social health problems with grand mean of 2.0 is slightly a problem among the child bearing mothers in Aymelum LGA; economic health problems with grand mean of 2.54 is a severe problem among the child bearing mothers in Ayamelum LGA; the null hypothesis which states that there is no significant difference in health needs of child bearing mothers in Ayamelum LGA according to Age was accepted (c2 = 0.415 > 0.05), and the null hypothesis which states that there is no significant difference in health problems of child bearing mothers in Ayamelum LGA according to parity was accepted (c2 = 0.753 > 0.05). On the basis of the findings and discussions, it was concluded among other things that the physical, emotional and economic health needs are very much experienced among child bearing mothers in Ayamelum LGA and economic health problems are severely experienced among the child bearing mothers in Ayamelum LGA of Anambra State. Following from the findings and conclusions relevant recommendations were made.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page
Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction
Background to the Study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Research Questions
Hypotheses
Significance of the Study
Scope of the Study

CHAPTER TWO: Review of Related Literature
Concepts of Health Needs and Problems of Prenatal Women
Theatrical Framework
Health Needs of Pregnant Women
Health Problems of Pregnant Women
Previous Studies on Health Needs and Problems
Summary

CHAPTER THREE: Methods
Research Design
Population of the Study
Sample and Sampling Technique
Instrument for Data Collection
Validity of the instrument
Reliability of the instrument
Procedure for Data Collection
Method of Data Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR: Results and Discussion
Results
Summary of Major Findings
Discussion

CHAPTER FIVE: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
Summary
Conclusions
Recommendations
Limitations of the Study
Suggestions for Further Studies
References
Appendices

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

Background to the Study

During pregnancy, because of the extra demand made by the foetus on the mother and also due to hormonal influences, the mother is posed with many needs and problems. These needs and problems could be physical, emotional, social or economic in nature (Agular & Galbes, 2004). Nevertheless, there are certain factors, which serve as ingredients for personal health. These factors must be available in appropriate quantity for health to be optimal. Some of these factors are more pressing or are in greater demand at certain periods of human life, notably during pregnancy than at other periods. Therefore when these conditions or factors are absent or deficient, health needs and health problems arise because health is threatened (Adi, 1979).


Levenstein (1975) affirmed that health needs refer to all the measures adopted to safeguard and restore health, which include medical care, safety, nutrition, emergency care, exercises, rest and sleep, cleanliness and keeping of health records. This definition is considered reasonable because it is comprehensive in terms of the objectives of health needs, which are to safeguard health, prevent ill-health and to restore health when it has failed. Therefore availability of these health needs can counteract the health problems. Werner (1984) supported this claim when he stated that these health needs of people who could be pregnant women as in this present study describe optimal health requirement. Health needs as implied in the present study refers to all the measures adopted to safeguard and restore health. These measures as enumerated by Akhtar (1994) to include medical and dental care, safety, proper nutrition, exercises, rest and sleep, health record keeping, cleanliness (personal and environmental) and emergency care. He stated that failure to provide these measures or health requirements in required quantity could threaten or constitute health problems. These health needs which exist along side the various dimensions of health namely physical, social, emotional and economic aspects can pre-empt a health problem of corresponding nature. Health need therefore defines the gap between optimal health conditions or requirements and health impairment such that when the conditions for health are not satisfied, a health need is created which result in a health problem to a pregnant mother.
The time of pregnancy according to Myles (2006), is the most demanding period in a woman’s life. The demands and needs of this pregnant woman require adequate attention to avoid malformation or deformation, or retardation in foetal growth and development. During pregnancy, because of organogenesis and hormonal influences, the woman is posed with many needs and problems which are physical, emotional, social and economical in nature. According to Bermete and Brown (2001) the health needs of a pregnant women could be physical (needs concerned with the physical requirement such as good nutrition, medical care, personal hygiene, breast care, dental care, proper clothing, exercises, rest and sleep, sexual activity and traveling needs), psychological (emotional care that women need during pregnancy from their partner, other members of the family and the health workers), and socio-economic (spouse support, accessibility of health facilities, availability of good roads and transportation, level of education, economic status, customs and beliefs, availability of qualified and skilled health workers and materials.

Explaining further on the physical needs they stated that pregnancy is the most nutrition demanding period of a mother’s life because she needs enough nutrient everyday to support her health, demands from the growing foetus and many hormone induced developmental processes. Supporting this claim, the American Dietetic Association – ADA (2002) stated that a pregnant mother needs extra 300 calories daily; making it a total of 2500 to 2700 calories daily to improve the nutritional level of the women thereby averting medical problems.


The medical need also included in the physical health needs is treated under prenatal care services. Prenatal care being the series of test, examinations, diagnosis and treatment a pregnant mother gets from the time of conception as noted by a qualified medical personnel till the date of delivery. It is therefore imperative that all pregnant women should attend regular prenatal care, for proper assessment, early detection and prompt management of risk factors. It will also be a medium whereby the health care providers can help the mothers to identify their needs in pregnancy and be able to meet their according thus reducing the risks involved during pregnancy and delivery (Lerfer & Hatson, 2002). Activities involved during the prenatal care period include physical examination of the pregnant women, data collection and analysis, laboratory investigations and examinations; blood grouping, gerotype, haemoglobin estimation, urine testing, weight and height estimation history taking, blood pressure estimation and height education. All these serve as monitor for proper assessment of maternal and foetal well-being.

Exercises as one of the physical health needs of a pregnant woman is essential because it is one of the factors that pave way to successful delivery. Agurlar and Galbes (2004) affirmed that a woman that is physically fit hardly gets any complication because complication from clinical records are usually an aspect of pregnancy of those who are not physically fit. Regular exercise improves the muscular system and one of the basic needs of the pregnant mother since muscular contraction is an integral part of labour.

Although the pregnant woman needs exercises to improve the muscular system, sleep and rest (as physical needs) are also very import during pregnancy. According to Myles (2006) a pregnant mother needs one or two hours of sleep in the afternoon and a total of nine hours sleep in the night for proper development of the foetus and maternal well-being.

Pregnant women need adequate clothing as part of the physical needs. The clothing of pregnant women should be clean, loose-fitting and attractive and should be worn according to weather (Fraser, Cooper and Nolte, 2006). They submitted that maternity gowns are preferred to tight flitting gowns. Tight-fitting belts, under wears and shirts should be avoided to prevent constriction of blood vessels. According to them pregnant women should wear comfortable shoes with broad base to avoid falls and ensure proper balancing.

Many pregnant mothers experience undue distress and anxiety because they are not aware of the normal psychological upheavals, emotional changes and adjustments that are integral of the child bearing process. Myles (2006) stated that during pregnancy, woman need high level of emotional care, usually from her husband, members of her family and health personnel. She is encouraged to stay mostly in places where there are joy inducing faculties like amusement parks, places that will divert her mind from worries and tension. In the case of first pregnancy (primips) she stated that so many factors are responsible for fear and anxiety because she is so afraid of what will befall her, what will be her faith during labour. Usually one sees signs of relief on their faces following antenatal classes when solutions and answers....

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