Patterns and determinants of care seeking for obstetric complications in rural northwest Bangladesh: Analysis from a prospective cohort study Health systems and services in low and middle income settings

Shegufta S. Sikder, Alain B. Labrique, Ian M. Craig, Mohammad Abdul Wakil, Abu Ahmed Shamim, Hasmot Ali, Sucheta Mehra, Lee Wu, Saijuddin Shaikh, Keith P. West, Parul Christian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: In communities with low rates of institutional delivery, little data exist on care-seeking behavior for potentially life-threatening obstetric complications. In this analysis, we sought to describe care-seeking patterns for self-reported complications and near misses in rural Bangladesh and to identify factors associated with care seeking for these conditions. Methods: Utilizing data from a community-randomized controlled trial enrolling 42,214 pregnant women between 2007 and 2011, we used multivariable multinomial logistic regression to explore the association of demographic and socioeconomic factors, perceived need, and service availability with care seeking for obstetric complications or near misses. We also used multivariable multinomial logistic regression to analyze the factors associated with care seeking by type of obstetric complication (eclampsia, sepsis, hemorrhage, and obstructed labor). Results: Out of 9,576 women with data on care seeking for obstetric complications, 77% sought any care, with 29% (n∈=∈2,150) visiting at least one formal provider and 70% (n∈=∈5,149) visiting informal providers only. The proportion of women seeking at least one formal provider was highest among women reporting eclampsia (57%), followed by hemorrhage (28%), obstructed labor (22%), and sepsis (17%) (p∈<∈0.001). In multivariable analyses, socioeconomic factors such as living in a household from the highest wealth quartile (Relative Risk Ratio of 1.49; 95% CI of [1.33-1.73]), women's literacy (RRR of 1.21; 95% CI of [1.05-1.42]), and women's employment (RRR of 1.10; 95% CI of [1.01-1.18]) were significantly associated with care seeking from formal providers. Service factors including living less than 10 kilometers from a health facility (RRR of 1.16; 95% CI of [1.05-1.28]) and facility availability of comprehensive obstetric services (RRR of 1.25; 95% CI of 1.04-1.36) were also significantly associated with seeking care from formal providers. Conclusions: While the majority of women reporting obstetric complications sought care, less than a third visited health facilities. Improvements in socioeconomic factors such as maternal literacy, coupled with improved geographic access and service availability, may increase care seeking from formal facilities. Enhancing community awareness on symptoms of hemorrhage, sepsis, and obstructed labor and their consequences may promote care seeking for obstetric complications in rural Bangladesh. Trial registration: Trial Registration Number: NCT00860470.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number166
JournalBMC health services research
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 12 2015

Keywords

  • Care seeking
  • Cohort study
  • Global health
  • Maternal health
  • Rural Bangladesh

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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