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Stud Fam Plann. 1991 May-Jun;22(3):177-87.

Maternal health care utilization in Jordan: a study of patterns and determinants.

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Department of Population Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass. 02115.


This article analyzes the patterns and determinants of maternal health care utilization in Jordan, using data from the Jordan Fertility and Family Health Survey of 1983. The study focuses on the 2,949 women who had a child in the five years preceding the survey. Through multivariate analyses of differentials in the utilization of prenatal care and health care at delivery, the study assesses the effect of sociodemographic factors, including residence, education, parity, and standard of living. The coverage of maternal health care in Jordan is discussed in relation to the overall organization of health services, the various providers of care, and the role of cultural factors.


Researchers used data from the 1983 Jordan Fertility and Family Health Survey to measure differentials of utilization of maternal and child health (MCH) services. 58.4% of the women had some prenatal care, 57.2% of these went to the private sector, mainly physicians (42.4%). The next leading provider of prenatal care was public MCH centers (25.2%). 48% began prenatal care in the 1st trimester and went 5 or more times (adequate care). 55% using the private sector for prenatal care had adequate care compared to 38% for the public sector. Even though most sought prenatal care in the private sector, 40.5% of the births took place in public health facilities vs. 18.3% for private hospitals. Professional midwives delivered most babies (42.5%) followed by physicians (32.1%) then traditional birth attendants (TBAs; 22.1%). TBAs attended 53% of home births then midwives (38%). 43% who delivered at a public hospital had prenatal care in the private sector, yet only about 20% who delivered in a private hospital received prenatal care in the public sector. 54% of those who had prenatal care in the private sector delivered at home. 54.3% who went to a private hospital had adequate care compared to 28.8% in a public hospital and 14.6% who had their child at home. Living in an urban area, high standard of living, and high education significantly and positively affected the intensity of utilization of prenatal care and the timeliness of this care (p.001). On the other hand, women who had at most limited prenatal care were more likely to have many children and live in a rural area (p.001). Most significant predictors of prenatal care and using a private hospital were a high standard of living, if the woman lived in an urban or rural area outside Amman, and more space/individual, if the household had a high standard of living. Public health facilities in Jordan were underutilized.

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