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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 103-111

Determinants of birth spacing among Saudi Women

1 Department of Research Unit, Preventive Medicine, Al-Hada armed forces hospital, Taif, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Family Medicine, Al-Hada armed forces hospital, Taif, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Obstetric & Gynaecology Departments, Al-Hada armed forces hospital, Taif, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Moataz Abdel-Fattah
PhD, Chief of Preventive Medicine Department, Al-Hada Armed Forces Hospital, P.O. Box 1347, Taif
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 23012155

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Background: High fertility levels are of major concern to planners and policy makers in most countries in the developing world. In Saudi Arabia, the rate of population growth is the third highest of the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Objectives: This study aimed at identifying determinants of birth spacing and attitudes toward family planning among Saudi women. Methods: A cross sectional survey of all women who have been married before, aged 15-49 years attending Al Hada armed forces hospital (primary health care and antenatal care clinics), was conducted between 1 st February 2005 and 31 st January 2006. Data was collected on socio-demographic, biological characteristics, beliefs, attitudes, and utilization of family planning services, pregnancy intervals and medical history Results: For the 786 women included in the study, the mean duration of interbirth interval was 2.38±1.24 years. The multivariate Cox regression revealed that a woman's education, work status, husband's work status, a woman's history of chronic diseases, and husband's encouragement of interbirth spacing were the only significant predictors of longer interbirth intervals. Shorter interbirth intervals were independently predicted by lower family income, and presence of female offspring only or equal number of male and female offspring as opposed to presence of more males. The great majority of participating women (98%) had a positive opinion of the effect of birth spacing on the family. Conclusion: This study showed that certain factors were significant predictors of interbirth spacing for the Saudi women. This should lead to the encouragement of longer intervals between births. However, further studies are needed to ascertain a cause-effect association..

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010