Knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding emergency contraception among nurses and nursing students in two hospitals in Nairobi, Kenya

Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)


A cross-sectional descriptive study on knowledge, attitudes, and practice about emergency contraception (EC) was conducted among nurses and nursing students using a self-administered questionnaire. One-hundred-sixty-seven qualified nurses and 63 nursing students completed the questionnaire. Over 95% listed at least one regular contraceptive method but only 2.6% spontaneously listed EC as a contraceptive method, whereas 48% of the respondents had heard of EC. Significantly more nursing students than qualified nurses were familiar with EC. Knowledge about the types of EC, applications, and side effects was poor and 49% of the respondents considered EC as an abortifacient. Of those familiar with EC, 77% approved its use for rape victims and 21% for adolescents and schoolgirls. Only 3.5% of all respondents had personally used EC in the past, 23% of those familiar with EC intend to use it in the future, whereas 53% intend to provide or promote it. The view that EC was abortifacient negatively influenced the decision to use or provide EC in the future. The present findings suggest that the level of knowledge of EC is poor and more information is needed. These findings indicate the potential to popularize emergency contraception in Kenya among nurses and nursing students.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.