What influences the decision to undergo institutional delivery by skilled birth attendants? A cohort study in rural Andhra Pradesh, India.
Nair M., Ariana P., Webster P.
INTRODUCTION: Despite continuing efforts to promote skilled institutional delivery, eight women die every hour in India due to causes related to pregnancy and child birth. The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence and the determinants of institutional delivery by skilled birth attendants in a rural population in Andhra Pradesh, India. METHODS: This cross-sectional study used data from 'Young Lives', a longitudinal study on childhood poverty, and the study population was a cohort of 1419 rural, economically deprived women (from the Young Lives study) in Andhra Pradesh, India. The data are from round-1 of Young Lives younger cohort recruited in 2002 and followed until 2015. The participation rate of households was 99.5%. RESULTS: Prevalence of skilled institutional delivery was 36.8%. Women's education (odds ratio [OR] for secondary education 2.06; 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.33-3.19), desire to be pregnant (OR 1.89; 95% CI 1.12-3.22) and adequate prenatal care (OR 1.69; 95% CI 1.30-2.21) were found to be the positive determinants of skilled institutional delivery. High birth order (OR for second birth 0.44; 95% CI 0.32-0.60, OR for third birth 0.47; 95% CI 0.30-0.72 and OR for ≥fourth 0.47; 95% CI 0.27-0.81), schedule caste/schedule tribe social background (OR 0.70; 95% CI 0.53-0.93) and poor economic status of the household (OR for the poorest households 0.67; 95% CI 0.46-0.99) were negatively associated with skilled institutional delivery. CONCLUSIONS: Despite existence of supporting schemes, the utilisation of skilled institutional delivery services was low in the study population. Educated women and women with adequate prenatal care who have a desired pregnancy were more likely to utilise health institutions and skilled delivery care. There is a need for integrated approaches through maternal health, family planning and education programs, and a focus on uneducated, poor women belonging to disadvantaged social groups.