Predictors of postpartum family planning in Rwanda: the influence of male involvement and healthcare experience

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Background: Strengthened efforts in postpartum family planning (PPFP) is a key priority to accelerate progress in reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health outcomes. This secondary data analysis explores factors associated with PPFP uptake in Rwanda. The purpose of this study was to explore variables that may influence PPFP use for postpartum women in Rwanda including health facility type, respectful maternity care, locus of control, and mental health status.

Methods: This secondary analysis of data from a cluster randomized control trial used information abstracted from questionnaires administered to women (≥ 15 years of age) at two time points—one during pregnancy (baseline) and one after delivery of the baby (follow-up). The dependent variable, PPFP uptake, was evaluated against the independent variables: respectful care, locus of control, and mental health status. These data were abstracted from linked questionnaires completed from January 2017 to February 2019. The sample size provided 97% power to detect a change at a 95% significance level with a sample size of 640 at a 15% effect size. Chi-square testing was applied for the bivariate analyses. A logistic regression model using the generalized linear model function was performed; odds ratio and adjusted (by age group and education group) odds ratio with 95% confidence interval were reported.

Results: Of the 646 respondents, although 92% reported not wanting another pregnancy within the next year, 72% used PPFP. Antenatal care wait time (p =  < 0.01; Adj OR (Adj 95% CI) 21–40 min: 2.35 (1.46,3.79); 41–60 min: 1.50 (0.84,2.69); 61–450 min: 5.42 (2.86,10.75) and reporting joint healthcare decision-making between the woman and her partner (male) (p = 0.04; Adj OR (Adj 95% CI) husband/partner: 0.59 (0.35,0.97); mother and partner jointly: 1.06 (0.66,1.72) were associated with PPFP uptake.

Conclusions: These results illustrate that partner (male) involvement and improved quality of maternal health services may improve PPFP utilization in Rwanda.

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