Women in the developing world are experiencing “unimaginable suffering” due to lack of effective care during pregnancy and childbirth as many end up with debilitating injuries such as Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF). VVF is an abnormal communication between the urinary bladder and the vagina that results in the continuous involuntary discharge of urine. Most women affected are living in shame and isolation, often abandoned by their husbands and relatives. The aim of this study was to assess the extent to which abandonment, social isolation and stigmatization significantly influence the coping strategies of women affected by VVF in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The study adopted Ex- post Facto design using mixed method of quantitative and qualitative approach. Transactional model of stress and coping directed the study. A sample of 120 VVF women (inpatients and outpatients), 18 VVF women coming back for follow-up care after repairs and 3 key informants were purposively selected for the study. Instruments for data collection were structured interview guide and in-depth (unstructured) interview. Regression analyses was used for quantitative data analysis and verbatim transcription/coding for qualitative with result presented in themes. The results showed that the three independent variables were significant predictors of coping strategies of VVF women in the area of study, with abandonment and stigmatization having a high influence though with a negative coefficient while social isolation exerted a weak influence. This implied that the more abandoned and stigmatized the VVF women, the less active their coping abilities while social isolation exerted less influence on their coping strategies. The study concluded that there exist a significant influence of abandonment stigmatization and social isolation on the coping strategies of VVF affected women.
Author (s) Details
Dr. Alberta David Nsemo Department of Nursing Science, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria.