Surgical in-patients’ intended response and perception to accepting supplemental oxygen therapy in a tertiary hospital

Introduction: Despite the importance of oxygen therapy and its inclusion in the list of essential medicine by the World Health Organization (WHO), there are still documented evidences of patients declining the life-saving intervention for different reasons. This study was conducted to determine the intended responses and perceptions of surgical in-patients toward accepting oxygen therapy.
Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive study was performed on a cohort of surgical in-patients in a tertiary health care centre in north-central Nigeria. Data were collected through a paper-based proforma and analyzed in Microsoft Excel using descriptive and inferential
statistics.
Results: Of 33 surgical in-patients, 23(69.7%) were males while 10(30.3%) were females. The majority of the patients had chronic illnesses. Seventeen (51.5%) of the patients will not want to accept oxygen therapy. The main reason for not wanting to accept oxygen therapy was the belief that oxygen therapy is meant for patients who are about to die. Previous use of oxygen therapy (p=.0004), knowledge about oxygen (p=.0025), and chronic illness (p=.0227) were statistically significant associated factors towards accepting oxygen therapy. Accepting oxygen therapy had no significant association with demographic characteristics (gender, age, educational status, and marital status).
Conclusion: This study has shown that more than half of surgical in-patients will not want oxygen therapy due to misconceptions about oxygen therapy. There is a need for public and community education to increase community awareness of the benefit of oxygen therapy when the need arises.

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