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Maternal Autonomy and Child Health Care Utilization in India: Results From the National Family Health Survey
Authors: Malhotra C, Malhotra R, Ostbye T, Subramanian SV.
Source: Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health, 2012 May 31. [Epub ahead of print]
Topic(s): Child health
Health care utilization
Maternal health
Women's autonomy
Country: Asia
  India
Published: MAY 2012
Abstract: Abstract The objective of this study was to examine the association of maternal autonomy with preventive and curative child health care utilization in India. Data from the National Family Health Survey 2005-2006 were used to ascertain association of maternal autonomy (in 3 dimensions: decision making, access to financial resources, freedom of movement) with child's primary immunization status (indicative of preventive health care use) and treatment seeking for child's acute respiratory infection (indicative of curative health care use). Low maternal freedom of movement was associated with higher odds of incomplete primary immunization of the child and for not seeking treatment for the child's acute respiratory infection. Low maternal financial access was associated with increased odds for incomplete primary immunization of the child. The findings show that improvement in autonomy of Indian mothers, especially their freedom of movement, may help improve utilization of health care for their children.