Use of maternal health services among adolescent women in Bangladesh

A S M Shahabuddin, Thérèse Delvaux, Saloua Abouchadi, Malabika Sarker, Vincent De Brouwere

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To understand the health seeking behavior of adolescent women in Bangladesh with respect to the use of maternal health services.

METHODS: Literature review of seven electronic databases: PubMed, ISI Web of Knowledge, PsycINFO, Embase, CINAHL, POPLINE and Global Health. Studies published in English between 1990 and 2013 which describe Bangladeshi adolescent women's health care-seeking behavior during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum were included.

RESULTS: Twelve studies were included in this review. 11 used quantitative methods and one used a mixed methods approach. All studies included married adolescent women only. Women with lower educational levels are less likely to seek skilled maternal health services than those with higher levels of education. Use of maternal health services are also less common among rural married adolescent women than women in urban areas. Being part of the richest bands of wealth, having had previous experiences of childbirth and higher women's autonomy positively influence the use of skilled maternal health services among married adolescent women in Bangladesh. Antenatal care is a key predictor of the use of skilled birth attendants for delivery and postnatal care.

CONCLUSION: Maternal health related programs should be designed targeting rural and uneducated married adolescent women in Bangladesh. More qualitative investigations are required to broaden our understanding on maternal health seeking behavior of both married and unmarried adolescent women. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)822-829
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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