Factors influencing the utilization of postpartum visits among rural women in China
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Postpartum visits (PPVs) are still underutilized in rural China, and identification of factors that influence PPV use is important in ensuring the utilization of maternal health services and for wellbeing of women. A cross-section study was undertaken to collect related data from 347 rural women interviewed six weeks or more after delivery, and an ANOVA was performed to find whether there were significant differences in the number of PPVs among different rural areas in China. According to Andersen’s socio-behavioral model of health service use, factors were divided into equitable and inequitable ones. Chi-squared test, univariate and multiple analyses were used to determine the equity of PPV use by identifying factors that were most strongly associated with the use of a PPV. The results showed that 20.2% of the respondents (n=70) did not receive any PPVs, and 62.5% (n=173) of those who had PPVs (n=277) did not receive standard PPVs (referring to at least 3 visits). There was no significant difference among different rural areas in terms of the number of PPVs (F=1.514, P=0.211). Multiple regression analyses revealed that enabling factors such as compensation for delivery expense [OR (95% CI)=2.825 (1.331, 5.995)], village type [OR (95% CI)=1.802 (1.021, 3.182)] and service quality [OR (95% CI)=1.847 (1.074, 3.176)] were strongly associated with PPV use. Both enabling factors such as home visits [OR (95% CI)=1.855 (1.085, 3.174)], service quality [OR (95% CI)=1.993 (1.155, 3.439)] and need factors such as low birth weight [OR (95% CI)=4.424 (1.482, 13.203)] were significantly associated with standard PPV use. Our results suggested that the equitable access to PPVs has been considerably improved in rural areas in China. The associations between inequitable factors and PPV use warrant further exploration, and policies aimed at improving quality and patterns of service supply are needed in order to ensure a full equitable access to maternal health services.
Key wordspostpartum visit utilization maternal health equitable access essential public health services
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