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Women’s empowerment and elective cesarean section for a single pregnancy: a population-based and multivariate study in Vietnam

Abstract : Background: Women's empowerment, and maternal and neonatal health are important targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. Our objective is to examine the relationship between women's empowerment and elective cesarean section (ECS), focusing on Vietnam, a country where the use of CS has increased rapidly in recent decades, which raises public health concerns. Methods: We hypothesized that in the context of the developing biomedicalization of childbirth, women's empowerment increases the use of ECS due to a woman's enhanced ability to decide her mode of delivery. By using microdata from the 2013-2014 Multiple Indicator Clusters Survey, we conducted a multivariate analysis of the correlates of ECS. We studied a representative sample of 1343 institutional single birth deliveries. Due to higher ECS rates among multiparous (18.4%) than primiparous women (10.1%) and the potential interaction between parity and other correlates, we used separate models for primiparous and multiparous women. Results: Among the indicators of women's external resources, which include a higher level of education, having worked during the previous 12 months, and having one's own mobile phone, only education differed between primiparous and multiparous women, with a higher level among primiparous women. Among primiparous women, no resource indicator was significantly linked to ECS. However, considering women's empowerment facilitated the identification of the negative impact of having had fewer than 3 antenatal care visits on the use of ECS. Among multiparous women, disapproval of intimate partner violence (IPV) was associated with a doubled likelihood of undergoing ECS (odds ratio = 2.415), and living in an urban area also doubled the likelihood of ECS. The positive association with living in the richest household quintile was no longer significant when attitude towards IPV was included in the model. In both groups, being aged 35 or older increased the likelihood of undergoing ECS, and this impact was stronger in primiparous women. Conclusions: These results underline the multidimensionality of empowerment, its links to other correlates and its contribution to clarifying the influence of these correlates, particularly for distinguishing between medical and sociocultural determinants. The results advocate for the integration of women's empowerment into policies aimed at reducing ECS rates.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 3:53:29 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 11:57:50 AM
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Myriam de Loenzien, Quoc Nhu Hung Mac, Alexandre Dumont. Women’s empowerment and elective cesarean section for a single pregnancy: a population-based and multivariate study in Vietnam. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, BioMed Central, 2021, 21 (1), pp.3. ⟨10.1186/s12884-020-03482-x⟩. ⟨inserm-03313234⟩



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