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Examining inter-generational differentials in maternal health care service utilization: insights from the Indian Demographic and Health Survey
Authors: Singh PK, Singh L
Source: Journal of Biosocial Science, 46(3):366-85. doi: 10.1017/S0021932013000370. Epub 2013 Jul 19.
Topic(s): Health care utilization
Maternal health
Country: Asia
  India
Published: MAY 2014
Abstract: This study examines the association between age cohort and utilization of maternal health care services in India, before and after adjusting for individual, household and contextual factors. Using data from the Demographic and Health Survey 2005-06, women were classified into three distinct age cohorts based on their age at childbirth: 15-24, 25-34 and 35-49 years. Binary logistic regression models were applied to assess the influence of women's age cohort on receiving full antenatal care (ANC) and skilled birth attendance (SBA). The analytical sample included the women who delivered their most recent birth at any time in the 5 years preceding the survey. Women belonging to the younger age cohort were found to be disadvantaged in receiving full ANC, whereas increasing age of women was negatively associated with receiving SBA. Low level of education, low mass media exposure, low autonomy, belonging to deprived social groups, poor economic status and residence in the central region were found to be major constraining factors in receiving full ANC and SBA for women in India. The findings support the need for 'age-sensitive' interventions that tailor programmes and incentives to women's health care needs through the reproductive life-stage. Urgent efforts are needed to ensure that women who are illiterate and those belonging to low autonomy and low socioeconomic groups receive the recommended maternal health care benefits.