'One-size doesn't fit all': Understanding healthcare practitioners' perceptions, attitudes and behaviours towards sexual and reproductive health and rights in low resource settings: An exploratory qualitative study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Although progress has been made to improve access to sexual and reproductive health services globally in the past two decades, in many low-income countries, improvements have been slow. Discrimination against vulnerable groups and failure to address health inequities openly and comprehensively play a role in this stagnation. Healthcare practitioners are important actors who, often alone, decide who accesses services and how. This study explores how health care practitioners perceive sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and how background factors influence them during service delivery. Participants were a purposefully selected sample of health practitioners from five low income countries attending a training in at Lund University, Sweden. Semi-structured interviews and qualitative content analysis were used. Three themes emerged. The first theme, "one-size doesn't fit all' in SRHR" reflects health practitioners' perception of SRHR. Although they perceived rights as fundamental to sexual and reproductive health, exercising of these rights was perceived to be context-specific. The second theme, "aligning a pathway to service delivery", illustrates a reflective balancing act between their personal values and societal norms in service delivery, while the third theme, "health practitioners acting as gatekeepers", describes how this balancing act oscillates between enabling and blocking behaviours. The findings suggest that, even though health care practitioners perceive SRHR as fundamental rights, their preparedness to ensure that these rights were upheld in service delivery is influenced by personal values and society norms. This could lead to actions that enable or block service delivery.


External organisations
  • St Francis Hospital Nsambya
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0234658
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch