Associations between mass media exposure and birth preparedness among women in southwestern Uganda: a community-based survey.

Gustav Asp, Karen Odberg Pettersson, Jacob Sandberg, Jerome Kabakyenga, Anette Agardh

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Background : Exposure to mass media provides increased awareness and knowledge, as well as changes in attitudes, social norms and behaviors that may lead to positive public health outcomes. Birth preparedness (i.e. the preparations for childbirth made by pregnant women, their families, and communities) increases the use of skilled birth attendants (SBAs) and hence reduces maternal morbidity and mortality. Objective : The aim of this study was to explore the association between media exposure and birth preparedness in rural Uganda. Method : A total of 765 recently delivered women from 120 villages in the Mbarara District of southwest Uganda were selected for a community-based survey using two-stage cluster sampling. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression was performed with generalized linear mixed models using SPSS 21. Results : We found that 88.6% of the women surveyed listened to the radio and 33.9% read newspapers. Birth preparedness actions included were money saved (87.8%), identified SBA (64.3%), identified transport (60.1%), and purchased childbirth materials (20.7%). Women who had taken three or more actions were coded as well birth prepared (53.9%). Women who read newspapers were more likely to be birth prepared (adjusted OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.5-3.2). High media exposure, i.e. regular exposure to radio, newspaper, or television, showed no significant association with birth preparedness (adjusted OR 1.3, 95% CI 0.9-2.0). Conclusion : Our results indicate that increased reading of newspapers can enhance birth preparedness and skilled birth attendance. Apart from general literacy skills, this requires newspapers to be accessible in terms of language, dissemination, and cost.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22904
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalGlobal Health Action
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


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