Tropical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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Communication and decision-making about reproductive health issues within couples in Kwara State, Nigeria

Margaret O Araoye


Context: Communication on reproductive issues within couples is important for sound decisions and support for reproductive health actions.

Objective: This study was undertaken in order to determine the attitudes and practice of decision-making among couples and the level of spousal communication on reproductive health issues.

Methods: Data was collected through face-to-face interview of 300 subjects (150 males and 150 females) who were selected through a multi-stage sampling technique from Yoruba-speaking parts of Kwara State.

Results: The respondents' attitudes were generally positive to women's participation in decision-making. The locus of control for decision-making was commonly both husband and wife, rather than male or female dominated. Despite that, only 53.2% of males and 58.1% of females had actually discussed desired family size with their spouses, while even fewer; 36.6% and 35.1% respectively, had discussed family planning methods with their spouses in the preceding six months. Monogynous unions for females; higher education, Christianity, and approval of couples' use of family planning methods for males were predictive of spousal communication on these issues.

Conclusion: Strategies to mobilise both men and women for reproductive health promotion are desirable for improved reproductive health.

Keywords: reproductive health, couples, communication

Tropical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Vol. 23(1) 2006: 63-69
AJOL African Journals Online