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Health Soc Care Community. 2002 Nov;10(6):492-502.

Utilisation of postnatal care in Bangladesh: evidence from a longitudinal study.

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Department of Statistics, Dhaka University, Dhaka.


Utilisation of health services is a complex behavioural phenomenon. Empirical studies of preventive and curative services in Bangladesh have often showed that the use of health services is related to the availability, quality and cost of services, as well as to social structure, health beliefs and personal characteristics of the users. The present paper attempts to examine factors associated with the utilisation of healthcare services during the postnatal period in Bangladesh by using prospective data from a survey on maternal morbidity in Bangladesh, conducted by the Bangladesh Institute of Research for Promotion of Essential and Reproductive Health and Technologies (BIRPERT). Both bivariate and multivariate analyses of the data confirmed that the mother's age at marriage had a significant and positive impact on the utilisation of quality healthcare services. The husband's occupation also showed a strong impact on healthcare utilisation, indicating higher use of quality care for postpartum morbidity by wives of business and service workers. The bivariate analysis showed that the number of pregnancies prior to the index pregnancy and desired pregnancies are significantly associated with the utilisation of postpartum healthcare. However, the results of this study were inconclusive on the influence of other predisposing and enabling factors, such as maternal education, the number of previous pregnancies, the occupation of the husband, antenatal care visits during pregnancy and access to health facilities. Multivariate logistic regression estimates did not show any significant impact of these factors on the use of maternal healthcare.

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