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Maternal exposure to intimate partner violence and uptake of maternal healthcare services in Ethiopia: Evidence from a national survey
Authors: Seman K. Ousman ,Mekdes K. Gebremariam,Johanne Sundby, and Jeanette H. Magnus
Source: PLOS ONE , DOI:
Topic(s): Education
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Maternal health
Wealth Index
Country: Africa
Published: AUG 2022
Abstract: Background: Women exposed to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) often do not utilize maternal health care optimally both because of stigma and other social problems. The current study aims to explore an association between maternal healthcare seeking and violence exposure among Ethiopian women and to assess if educational attainment and wealth status moderate this association. Methods: The analyses included 2836 (weighted) currently married women with one live birth. We focus on the five years preceding the 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) who participate, in the domestic violence sub-study. Exposure was determined by maternal reports of physical, emotional, sexual IPV or any form of IPV. The utilization of antenatal care (ANC) and place of delivery were used as proxy outcome variables for uptake of skilled maternal healthcare utilization. Women’s education attainment and wealth status were selected as potential moderators, as they can enable women with psychological and financial resources to counteract impact of IPV. Multilevel logistic regression analyses were used to explore the association between spousal IPV and maternal health outcomes. Moderation effects by education and wealth status were tested, and the data stratified. Using statistical software Stata MP 16.1, the restricted maximum likelihood method, we obtained the model estimates. Results: About 27.5% of the women who reported exposure to any form of IPV had a health facility delivery. While 23.4% and 22.4% visited four or more antenatal care services among mothers exposed to emotional IPV and sexual IPV, respectively. After adjusting for potential confounding factors, only the association between maternal exposure to emotional IPV and adequate use of ANC was statistically significant (OR = 0.73, (95% CI:0.56–0.95)). But we found no significant association between IPV and utilization of health facility delivery. Some moderation effects of education and wealth in the association between IPV and maternal healthcare service utilization outcome were found. Conclusion: Exposure to emotional IPV was associated with poor uptake of maternal health care service utilization for married Ethiopian women. While developing interventions to improve women’s maternal healthcare service use, it is crucial to consider the effects of socio-economic variables that moderate the association especially with the intersection of IPV.