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Abstract

The study was carried out to ascertain the information needs and seeking behaviour of Antenatal patients in Central Hospitals in Delta States, Nigeria. The research design adopted for the study is a descriptive survey design. The population of the study covered all the central hospitals in Delta and Edo states. The total population of the study is seven hundred and fifty (750) antenatal patients registered in the central hospitals at the time of the study. Five hundred and twenty-six (526) respondents were selected for the study via a purposive sampling technique. A total of 526 copies of the questionnaire were distributed to the respondents and 393(75%) copies were returned. The method of data analysis adopted was descriptive statistics covering frequency count and percentage. The findings of the study revealed that the antenatal patients need information on how to stay healthy during pregnancy, foetal development care, sex of their baby, the progress of pregnancy, labour/ stages of birth, diets/nutrition during pregnancy, screening test, sex during pregnancy, among others. The antenatal patients rely on health services providers (physicians/doctors, nurses, midwives) antenatal classes, mobile apps on pregnancy, and experience mothers/ friends as their preferred information sources during pregnancy. The antenatal patients use the information they get to stay healthy during pregnancy, know about foetal development/ care, know the sex of babies, take good health decisions, understand the progress of their pregnancy, know the benefits of attending antenatal classes, know about labour/ stages of birth, among others. The challenges that militate against the accessibility and use of information by the antenatal patients as indicated by the responses are the negative attitude of some health professionals, low self-esteem and other sociodemographic factors, insufficient time to interact with health provider, inability to distinguish between correct and false health information, among others. It was recommended from the study that the government of Nigeria should create helplines where the antenatal patients can call and get instant information that meet their various health needs and television and radio stations should redesign their programmes to meet the aspiration/ information needs of antenatal patients.

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