Family planning practices in couples with children affected by β-thalassemia major and its relationship with their education: An epidemiological study
Bijit Biswas1, Keya Basu2, Narendra Nath Naskar3, Aparajita Dasgupta4, Bobby Paul4, Rivu Basu5
1 Department of Community Medicine and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
2 Department of Pathology, Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Public Health Administration, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
4 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
5 Department of Community Medicine, R. G. Kar Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Dr. Bijit Biswas
Department of Community Medicine and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Basni Industrial Area, Phase-2, Jodhpur - 342 005, Rajasthan
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
BACKGROUND: Although prevention the birth of children with β-thalassemia major (β-TM) is an important health issue, it is rarely explored. With this background, the study was designed to find family planning practices and related factors of couples with children affected by β-TM.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, observational study, conducted among 324 parents with children affected by β-TM attending a tertiary care health facility in Eastern India. Data were analyzed using univariate and multivariable logistic regression using SPSS.
RESULTS: Of 324 parents, 89.5% were sexually active, 44.8% of which were currently using family planning method to prevent the birth of another child with the oral contraceptive pill most preferred (46.9%) followed by tubectomy (33.9%). Those who were sexually active, but not desirous of a child were 223, of which 41.7% had the unmet need for family planning with religious belief (41.9%) being the most predominant reason followed by unaware of methods (26.9%). In multivariable analysis, religion, caste, per capita monthly income, mothers' education level, and working status were significant predictors of unmet need for family planning adjusted with others.
CONCLUSIONS: Burden of unmet need for family planning among the study population was alarmingly high. Parents of the thalassemic children should be counseled in easily comprehensible local language to increase the rate of contraception among them.