Objective To assess changes in the inequalities associated with maternal healthcare use according to economic status in the Philippines.
Design An analysis of four population-based data sets that were conducted between 1993 and 2008.
Participants Women aged 15–49 years who had a live-birth within 1 year in 1993 (n=1707), 1998 (n=1513), 2003 (n=1325) and 2008 (n=1209).
Outcomes At least four visits of antenatal care, skilled birth attendance and delivery in a medical facility.
Results The adjusted OR for antenatal-care use when comparing the highest wealth-index quintile with the lowest quintile declined from 1993 to 2008: 3.43 (95% CI 2.22 to 5.28) to 2.87 (95% CI 1.31 to 6.29). On the other hand, the adjusted OR for the other two outcome indicators by the wealth index widened from 1993 to 2008: 9.92 (95% CI 5.98 to 16.43) to 15.53 (95% CI 6.90 to 34.94) for skilled birth attendance and 7.74 (95% CI 4.22 to 14.21) to 16.00 (95% CI 7.99 to 32.02) for delivery in a medical facility. The concentration indices for maternal health utilisation in 1993 and 2008 were 0.19 and 0.09 for antenatal care; 0.26 and 0.24 for skilled birth attendance and 0.41 and 0.35 for delivery in a medical facility.
Conclusions Over a 16-year period, gradients in antenatal-care use decreased and the high level of inequalities in skilled birth attendance and delivery in a medical facility persisted. The results showed a disproportionate use of institutional care at birth among disadvantaged Filipino women.
- Public health
- Reproductive medicine
- Social medicine
- Statistics & research methods
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