A community-based assessment of the perception and involvement of male partners in maternity care in Benin-City, Nigeria
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AbstractMale involvement in maternal health promotion is paramount to safe motherhood. This study evaluates the perception and participation of male partners in maternity care (MC). A cross-sectional study involving 372 participants was conducted through qualitative (interviews and focus group discussion) and quantitative research methods which assessed knowledge, attitude and perception, between 1 December 2017 and 21 January 2018. The data were analysed with IBM SPSS version 25.0 using descriptive and inferential statistics. The mean age of the participants was 35.9 ± 11.5 years. Four-fifths (80.4%) had a positive attitude towards MC but only 27.2% was actively involved, due to socio-cultural reasons. Knowledge regarding MC was associated with age (p = .023), employment (p = .039) and education (p = .002) - higher among younger-aged professionals with a higher education. Male partners had a positive attitude towards MC but were poorly involved, due to socio-cultural factors. Community health workers and stakeholders should step up community health education with engagement of men to promote their involvement.Impact statementWhat is already known on this subject? The role of men in maternity care (MC) is well defined and found to improve health outcomes in high income countries. However, their level of participation in a low income country, such as Nigeria, is far below expectation.What do the results of this study add? The result of this work has provided scarce community-based local data on male partners' involvement in MC. This study showed that majority of males demonstrated a positive attitude but were poorly involved, due to socio-cultural reasons. It also shown that those with a younger age, professionals and those with a higher education were more knowledgeable about MC. This suggests the need for health workers and key players to step up community health education and engagement of men to promote active involvement in women's health matters.What are the implications of these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? Stakeholders in low resource-settings like Nigeria could introduce interventions to scaling up health education, create the enabling hospital environment to accommodate male partners, actively engage, support and motivate them to be involved in MC. Further research will be required to assess the impact of such interventions and how to sustain potential benefits.
PublisherTaylor & Francis
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