BACKGROUND: Preeclampsia/eclampsia is a major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality worldwide, yet patients' perspectives about their diagnosis are not well understood. Our study examines patient knowledge among women with preeclampsia/eclampsia in a large urban hospital in Ghana. METHODS: Postpartum women diagnosed with preeclampsia or eclampsia were asked to complete a survey 2-5 days after delivery that assessed demographic information, key obstetric factors, and questions regarding provider counseling. Provider counseling on diagnosis, causes, complications, and future health effects of preeclampsia/eclampsia was quantified on a 4-point scale ('Counseling Composite Score'). Participants also completed an objective knowledge assessment regarding preeclampsia/eclampsia, scored from 0 to 22 points ('Preeclampsia/Eclampsia Knowledge Score' (PEKS)). Linear regression was used to identify predictors of knowledge score. RESULTS: A total of 150 participants were recruited, 88.7% (133) with preeclampsia and 11.3% (17) with eclampsia. Participants had a median age of 32 years, median parity of 2, and mean number of 5.4 antenatal visits. Approximately half of participants reported primary education as their highest level of education. While 74% of women reported having a complication during pregnancy, only 32% of participants with preeclampsia were able to correctly identify their diagnosis, and no participants diagnosed with eclampsia could correctly identify their diagnosis. Thirty-one percent of participants reported receiving no counseling from providers, and only 11% received counseling in all four categories. Even when counseled, 40-50% of participants reported incomplete understanding. Out of 22 possible points on a cumulative knowledge assessment scale, participants had a mean score of 12.9 +/- 0.38. Adjusting for age, parity, and the number of antenatal visits, higher scores on the knowledge assessment are associated with more provider counseling (beta 1.4, SE 0.3, p < 0.001) and higher level of education (beta 1.3, SE 0.48, p = 0.008). CONCLUSIONS: Counseling by healthcare providers is associated with higher performance on a knowledge assessment about preeclampsia/eclampsia. Patient knowledge about preeclampsia/eclampsia is important for efforts to encourage informed healthcare decisions, promote early antenatal care, and improve self-recognition of warning signs-ultimately improving morbidity and reducing mortality.