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Using the theory of planned behavior to explain the fertility readiness of expected couples in rural environment: a cross-sectional study from Rukwa, southern Tanzania

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Document pages: 10 pages

Abstract: Background according to the theory of planned behavior, the intention to perform a certain behavior is conducive to action. In the area of family planning, certain preparations and plans may better ensure the survival of mothers and newborns. Little is known about the predictors of fertility readiness in pregnant couples. The purpose of this study was to determine the predictors of reproductive readiness of pregnant couples. method. From June to October 2017, a community-based cross-sectional study was conducted for pregnant women and their partners. Using three-stage probability sampling technology, 546 couples were selected as samples, and a structured questionnaire based on planned behavior theory was adopted. The questionnaire investigated three main areasof birth preparedness intentions. These three domains included (1) attitudes towards birth preparedness, (2) perceived subjective norms towards birth preparedness, and (3) perceived behavior control towards birth preparedness. Results. The vast majority of study participants had birth preparedness intentions. This included 521 (95.4 ) pregnant women and 543 (99.5 ) of their male partners. After adjusting for the confounders, the predictors of birth preparedness intentions among pregnant women were attitude (AOR=70.134, 95 CI=12.536-392.360, p<0.001) and perceived behavior control (AOR=7.327, 95 CI=1.545-34.761, p<0.05) which were significant. Among male partners, only attitudes (AOR=31.315, 95 CI=1.497-655.149, p<0.05) influenced the birth preparedness intention. Conclusion. Birth preparedness intention among male partners was higher compared to their female partners. The reason for the difference could be the concern each group puts on the issue of birth preparedness. Among the three domains of intention, attitude and perceived behavior control were statistically significant predictors of birth preparedness intention among pregnant women. Attitude was the only domain which influenced birth preparedness intention among male partners. Therefore, interventional studies are recommended targeting attitudes and perceived behavior control in order to boost birth preparedness intention.

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