Objectives: Previous studies of maternal health-seeking behavior focused on individual- and household-level factors. We examined community-level influences on the decision to deliver a child in a health facility across 6 African countries.
Methods: Demographic and Health Survey data were linked with contextual data, and multilevel models were fitted to identify the determinants of childbirth in a health facility in the 6 countries.
Results: We found strong community-level influences on a woman's decision to deliver her child in a health facility. Several pathways of influence between the community and individual were identified.
Conclusions: Community economic development, the climate of female autonomy, service provision, and fertility preferences all exert an influence on a woman's decision to seek care during labor, but significant community variation remains unexplained.