A team comprising of four lecturers from the College of Nursing, Sultan Qaboos University and two nurses from the OBG Department, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital won the first place for their poster presentation at the 3rd International Conference in Advances of Obstetrics and Gynaecology held on 21st – 23rd February 2019 at Crown Plaza, Muscat. Ms Divya Raghavan, Ms Frincy Francis, Ms Divya K Y, Ms Sheeba E J, Ms Maha Yacoub Al Dughaishi and Ms Raya Abdullah Al Zahli presented an extensive literature review on the less discussed obstetric issue known as Tokophobia – fear of childbirth.
The authors gave the prevalence of the condition across different continents and emphasized that there was no literature or research available in the Arab countries in relation to this. They referred to the prevalence of tokophobia in the Gulf to the iceberg model wherein the burden of this problem is most often being masked or submerged under the cultural and societal influence. The authors relate the rising statistics of elective caesarean sections among the Omani population could be due to the untold fear of childbirth.
Tokophobia could be because of fear induced by those who experienced a bad labour process or by their own experiences. Extremely affected women need a multidisciplinary approach for outgrowing this fear. The authors have prepared a research proposal to identify the prevalence of Tokophobia in Oman after which they might extend this to multicentre study across Middle East countries.