Understanding couples' relationship quality and contraceptive use in Kumasi, Ghana

Carie Muntifering Cox, Michelle J. Hindin, Easmo Otupiri, Roderick Larsen-Reindorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

CONTEXT: A wealth of data exist on knowledge, attitudes and practice related to contraceptive use; however, emotional aspects of relationships that may infuence reproductive decision making are often overlooked. METHODS: Data from the 2010 Family Health and Wealth Survey were used in bivariate and multinomial logistic regression analyses to identify associations between relationship quality and current contraceptive use among 698 married or cohabiting couples in Kumasi, Ghana. Four scales measuring commitment, trust, constructive communication and destructive communication, as well as a question about relationship satisfaction, were the indicators of relationship quality. Current contraceptive use was divided into three categories: no use, reliance on a method that can be used without the partner's awareness (the injectable, pill, IUD, implant and diaphragm) and use of a method that both partners are typically aware of (periodic abstinence, withdrawal, condoms and spermicide). RESULTS: Overall contraceptive use was low-22% of women said they were currently using any method. In general, respondents reported high levels of relationship quality. Women's relationship satisfaction scores were positively associated with use of awareness methods rather than nonuse (relative risk ratio, 1.2). Men's trust scores were positively associated with use of nonawareness methods rather than nonuse (1.1), and men's constructive communication scores were associated with use of both types of method rather than nonuse (1.1 for each). CONCLUSIONS: Couples' relationship quality appears to be an important element in their decision making regarding contraceptive use, and should be taken into consideration in the design and implementation of family planning programs and policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-194
Number of pages10
JournalInternational perspectives on sexual and reproductive health
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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