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Spousal violence and receipt of skilled maternity care during and after pregnancy in Nepal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Marie Furuta, Debra Bick, Hiromi Matsufuji, Kirstie Coxon

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
Early online date19 Oct 2016
Accepted/In press18 Oct 2016
E-pub ahead of print19 Oct 2016
Published1 Dec 2016

King's Authors


Objectives a substantial number of Nepali women experience spousal violence, which affects their health in many ways, including during and after pregnancy. This study aimed to examine associations between women's experiences of spousal violence and their receipt of skilled maternity care, using two indicators: (1) receiving skilled maternity care across a continuum from pregnancy to the early postnatal period and (2) receiving any skilled maternity care in pregnancy, childbirth, or postpartum. Methods data were analysed for married women aged 15–49 from the 2011 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey. Data were included on women who completed an interview on spousal violence as part of the survey and had given birth within the five years preceding the survey (weighted n=1375). Logistic regression models were developed for analyses. Results the proportion of women who received skilled maternity care across the pregnancy continuum and those who received any skilled maternity care was 24.1% and 53.7%, respectively. Logistic regression analyses showed that spousal violence was statistically significantly associated with receiving low levels of skilled maternity care, after adjusting for accessibility of health care. However, after controlling for women's sociodemographic backgrounds (age, number of children born, educational level, husband's education level, husband's occupation, region of residence, urban/rural residence, wealth index), these significant associations disappeared. Better-educated women, women whose husbands were professionals or skilled workers and women from well-off households were more likely to receive skilled maternity care either across the pregnancy continuum or at recommended points during or after pregnancy. Conclusion spousal violence and low uptake of skilled maternity care are deeply embedded in a society in which gender inequality prevails. Factors affecting the receipt of skilled maternity care are multidimensional; simply expanding geographical access to maternity services may not be sufficient to ensure that all women receive skilled maternity care.

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