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Couples’ reports of household decision-making and the utilization of maternal health services in Bangladesh

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  • Story, William T.
  • Burgard, Sarah A.
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    Abstract

    This study examines the association between maternal health service utilization and household decision-making in Bangladesh. Most studies of the predictors of reproductive health service utilization focus on women’s reports; however, men are often involved in these decisions as well. Recently, studies have started to explore the association between health outcomes and reports of household decision-making from both husbands and wives as matched pairs. Many studies of household decision-making emphasize the importance of the wife alone making decisions; however, some have argued that joint decision-making between husbands and wives may yield better reproductive health outcomes than women making decisions without input or agreement from their partners. Husbands’ involvement in decision-making is particularly important in Bangladesh because men often dominate household decisions related to large, health-related purchases. We use matched husband and wife reports about who makes common household decisions to predict use of antenatal and skilled delivery care, using data from the 2007 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey. Results from regression analyses suggest that it is important to consider whether husbands and wives give concordant responses about who makes household decisions since discordant reports about who makes these decisions are negatively associated with reproductive health care use. In addition, compared to joint decision-making, husband-only decision-making is negatively associated with antenatal care use and skilled delivery care. Finally, associations between household decision-making arrangements and health service utilization vary depending on whose report is used and the type of health service utilized.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 12 ()
    Pages: 2403-2411

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:12:p:2403-2411

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    Related research

    Keywords: Bangladesh; Decision-making; Husbands/wives; Health service utilization; Maternal health;

    References

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    1. Kabeer, Naila, 2001. "Conflicts Over Credit: Re-Evaluating the Empowerment Potential of Loans to Women in Rural Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 63-84, January.
    2. Paul, Bimal Kanti & Rumsey, Deborah J., 2002. "Utilization of health facilities and trained birth attendants for childbirth in rural Bangladesh: an empirical study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(12), pages 1755-1765, June.
    3. Mumtaz, Zubia & Salway, Sarah, 2009. "Understanding gendered influences on women's reproductive health in Pakistan: Moving beyond the autonomy paradigm," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 1349-1356, April.
    4. Carter, Marion, 2002. "Husbands and maternal health matters in rural Guatemala: wives' reports on their spouses' involvement in pregnancy and birth," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 437-450, August.
    5. Goetz, Anne Marie & Gupta, Rina Sen, 1996. "Who takes the credit? Gender, power, and control over loan use in rural credit programs in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 45-63, January.
    6. Mullany, Britta C. & Hindin, Michelle J. & Becker, Stan, 2005. "Can women's autonomy impede male involvement in pregnancy health in Katmandu, Nepal?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(9), pages 1993-2006, November.
    7. Becker, Stan & Fonseca-Becker, Fannie & Schenck-Yglesias, Catherine, 2006. "Husbands' and wives' reports of women's decision-making power in Western Guatemala and their effects on preventive health behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(9), pages 2313-2326, May.
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