Women's autonomy in healthcare decision-making and healthcare seeking behaviour for childhood illness in Ghana: Analysis of data from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey.
- Public Library of Science (PLoS)
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- PloS one, 2020, 15, (11), pp. e0241488
- Issue Date:
IntroductionThe capacity of women to decide on their healthcare plays a key role in their health. In this study, we examined the association between women's healthcare decision-making capacity and their healthcare seeking behaviour for childhood illnesses in Ghana.
Materials and methodsWe used data from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey. A total sample of 2,900 women with children less than 5 years was used for the analysis. Data were processed and analysed using STATA version 14.0. Chi-square test of independence and binary logistic regression were carried out to generate the results. Statistical significance was pegged at 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We relied on the 'Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology' (STROBE) statement in writing the manuscript.
ResultsOut of the 2,900 women, approximately 25.7% could take healthcare decisions alone and 89.7% sought healthcare for childhood illnesses. Women who decided alone on personal healthcare had 30% reduced odds of seeking healthcare for childhood illnesses compared to those who did not decide alone [AOR = 0.70, CI = 0.51-0.97]. With age, women aged 45-49 had 69% reduced odds of seeking healthcare for childhood illnesses compared to those aged 25-29 [AOR = 0.31, CI = 0.14-0.70]. Women from the Northern and Upper West regions had 72% [AOR: 0.28, CI: 0.11-0.70] and 77% [AOR: 0.23, CI: 0.09-0.58] reduced odds of seeking healthcare for childhood illnesses respectively, compared to those from the Western region.
ConclusionGhanaian women with autonomy in healthcare decision-making, those who were older and those from the Northern and Upper West regions were less likely to seek healthcare for childhood illness. To reduce childhood mortalities and morbidities in Ghana, we recommend educating women such as those who take healthcare decisions alone, older women and women from deprived regions like the Northern and Upper West regions on the need to seek healthcare for childhood illnesses.
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