The determinants of reproductive health service provision by General Practitioners in Pakistan

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of this cross-sectional study was to identify the factors that influence the provision of reproductive health services by General Practitioners (GPs) working in the province of Sind, Pakistan.

Methods and participants

One hundred and ninety-eight GPs were selected as the study participants by a multistage, randomized stratified, proportionate sampling procedure. Data were collected using a self-completed questionnaire, which was validated for content validity by an expert review panel and for face validity by a pilot test administered to doctors from developing countries. Data collection took place between November 2000 and February 2001.

Results

Eighty-six percent of GPs (171/198) responded to the questionnaire. Of those, only 25% reported providing reproductive health services in their clinics. The major determinants of reproductive health service provision were found to be the urban location of the GP clinic, being a female GP, postgraduate training in reproductive health and a good knowledge of reproductive health.

Conclusions

The findings of this study suggest that the provision of reproductive health services in Sind could be improved by increasing the involvement of female GPs. This can be achieved by encouraging more female GPs into the speciality, with the use of incentives if necessary, and providing adequate postgraduate training to improve their reproductive health knowledge and skills. The results of this study have broadened understanding of the factors that influence GPs in their provision of reproductive health services, and will contribute significantly to research on reproductive health in Pakistan.

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