Factors Influencing Women’s Decision to Adopt Family Planning Methods: a Case Study of Women Aged 15-39 Years in East Akim District.

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Family planning helps save women's and children's lives and preserves their health by reducing women's exposure to the health risks of childbirth and abortion and giving women more time to care for their children and themselves. Also all couples and individuals had the right to decide on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information, education and means to do so (UNFPA, 1999). This study determines the factors that influenced the decision of women in their reproductive age between 15-39 years to adopt family planning. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in three sub districts of East Akim district from August to November 2008. Two hundred women practicing or had ever practiced family planning and 30 providers were used for the study. The purpose of the study was to assess clients’ satisfaction in FP method and services, to find out how client-provider interaction increase quality care, to find out the effectiveness in providers’ supervision, identify logistic availability and how to improve FP policy. Simple random sampling was used based on clinical attendance and home visit. The data techniques used were observation, check list, FGD among others. The result of the study showed that among the respondents, 76.0% were currently married or ever been married before and 23.0% were singles. About 89.5% had formal education. Knowledge of family planning was universal as 97% of respondents had an idea about family planning, 62.0% attended clinic continuously, 29.0% ever discontinued while 9.0% defaulted. Fear of side effect was the major reason attributed for FP method switched or discontinuation and was also confirmed in the focus group discussion. Injectable was the commonest current family planning method used which constituted 60% with 30.0% using pills and the remaining methods recorded less than 10.0%. About 55.5% of respondents were satisfied with family planning method used. Half of the respondents represented 51.5% received support from husbands to practice family planning while 6.0% practiced FP without the awareness of their husband. Statistically, alpha level of 0.05 at 95% confident interval, p=0.002, knowledge of family planning, age of the woman and husband support were all significant for a woman to adopt FP. Other factors such as client satisfaction of method, clinical accessibility and waiting time less than 30 minutes with visit to the clinic at any time were also statistically significant. It was found that supervision, information on side effect which was the main reason for stopping FP, logistics and FP policy needed to be improved. Recommendations were made to the DHMT, the and the community members and the Government of Ghana to improve the FP policy and its implementation.
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Master of Public Health; Population and Reproductive Health, November