Background Despite a reduction in fertility rates and a rise in the prevalence of contraceptive use in Jordan, a gap still exists between women's knowledge of family planning methods and actual usage of these methods. The study aimed to measure the prevalence of unmet need, describe the main socioeconomic characteristics, and outline the predictors of unmet need.
Methods A nationally representative sample of 2406 women using Ministry of Health facilities was obtained by applying a two-stage cluster sampling technique. Six strata were identified based on three geographical regions and two types of health centre.
Results The study results demonstrate the overall prevalence of unmet need to be 16.3%, comprising 6.8% of women who wanted to limit births and 9.5% who wanted to space births. A negative significant correlation was found between unmet need and the women's educational level. There was a higher level of unmet need in the south compared to other regions. Women's age categories showed high unmet need in the young and old categories compared to the middle age category of 25–35 years of age. A similar pattern was also seen when the number of living children was considered.
Conclusions The study results indicate that lowering the prevalence of unmet need in Jordan is dependent on reducing the knowledge gap, since unmet need is related to women's level of education. Improving access to services at the regional level is also a key factor in reducing disparities between geographical regions.
- family planning
- primary health care
- reproductive health services
- unmet need
- Accepted April 4, 2006.
- Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions
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