The effect of spousal communication on contraceptive use in Central Terai, Nepal

Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Dec;81(3):402-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.07.018. Epub 2010 Aug 16.


Objective: Family planning has several social and health benefits; it can reduce maternal mortality and the number of unplanned pregnancies, as well as increase educational and economic opportunities. Utilizing quantitative data from an endline household survey (July 2009) and data from focus group discussions, the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) seeks to determine whether spousal communication increases contraceptive use among married women of child-bearing age in Nepal's Central Terai region.

Methods: Quantitative household survey and qualitative focus group discussions.

Results: Women who discuss family planning with their husbands (OR=7.254), perceive husband approval on family planning (OR=5.558) and have born a son (OR=2.239) are more likely to use a modern contraceptive method. Qualitative data show that several other considerations can be motivating factors for contraceptive uptake.

Conclusion: While results do not explain the direction of causality, it is clear that spousal discussion and partner approval are significant in a woman's decision to use modern contraceptives in the Central Terai region of Nepal.

Practice implications: More research needs to be conducted on the effect of spousal communication and contraceptive use, in particular, the role of frequency, quality, and content of spousal communication, as well as individual motivations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Communication*
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Contraception Behavior / ethnology
  • Contraception*
  • Culture
  • Family Planning Services
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nepal
  • Qualitative Research
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Young Adult