Factors associated with induced abortion at selected hospitals in the Volta Region, Ghana
Ellen Eyi Klutsey,1 Augustine Ankomah2
1School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Volta Region, 2Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana
Background: Induced abortion rates remained persistently high in the Volta Region of Ghana in the 5 years from 2006 to 2011. Some hospitals, both rural and urban, report induced abortion-related complications as one of the top ten conditions in hospital admissions. This study explored demographic and other factors associated with induced abortion, and also assessed awareness of abortion-related complications among women of reproductive age in the Volta Region.
Methods: A quantitative, hospital-based, unmatched case-control study was performed. The Volta Region was stratified into two health administration zones, ie, north and south. For each zone, hospitals were stratified into government and private hospitals. Employing simple random sampling, one private and three government hospitals were selected from each zone. This study is therefore based on eight hospitals, ie, six government hospitals and two private hospitals.
Results: Marital status, employment status, number of total pregnancies, and knowledge about contraception were found to be associated with induced abortion. Multiple logistic regression showed a 4% reduction in the odds of induced abortion in married women compared with women who were single (odds ratio [OR] 0.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.07–0.22). Unemployed women of reproductive age were found to be 0.35 times less likely to seek induced abortion compared with their employed counterparts (OR 0.35, CI 0.19–0.65). It was also observed that women with their second pregnancies were 3.8 times more likely to seek induced abortion and women with more than two pregnancies were 6.6 times more likely to do so (OR 3.81, CI 1.94–7.49 and OR 6.58, CI 2.58–16.79, respectively). Women with no knowledge of contraceptive methods were 4.6 times likely to seek induced abortion (OR 4.64, CI 1.39–15.4). Compared with women who had not had induced abortion, women with a high number of pregnancies and no contraceptive knowledge were more likely to have induced abortion.
Conclusion: It was found that lack of knowledge about contraceptives and being single or employed were associated with increased likelihood of induced abortion. It was also found that women with a higher number of pregnancies have a greater odds of induced abortion. No association was found between induced abortion and maternal age, education, contraceptive use, or religion.
Keywords: induced abortion, case control, maternal mortality, hospital-based, Volta Region, Ghana
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