Association between media exposure and maternal health service use in Nepal: A further analysis of Nepal Demographic and Health Survey-2022 | PLOS ONE



Nepal has made incremental progress in improving coverage of maternal health services leading to improved health outcomes. Government and other health sector stakeholders have consistently considered dissemination of educational messages on maternal health through mass media. However, in Nepal’s context, the media’s influence on the uptake of maternal health services is less known. This study examines the links between media exposure and maternal health service use in Nepal.


Our analysis is based on the nationally representative Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2022 data. We analyzed data from 1933 women aged 15–49 who had given birth in the two years preceding the survey. Weight analysis was performed to account for complex survey design. We presented categorical variables as frequency, percentage, and corresponding 95% Confidence Interval (CI). Univariable and multivariable logistic regression assessed the association between media exposure and maternal health service use, and the results are presented as crude (COR) and adjusted odds ratios (AOR) along with 95% CI.


Women exposed to internet use had 1.59 times [AOR = 1.59, 95% CI = 1.16, 2.19], and those exposed to radio and television health programs had 1.73 times [AOR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.17, 2.56] higher odds of having four or more Antenatal Care (ANC) visits. Similarly, women exposed to mass media had 1.32 times [AOR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.00, 1.74] and those exposed to health programs had 1.50 times [AOR = 1.50, 95% CI = 1.02, 2.21] higher odds of having an institutional delivery. However, mass media exposure, internet use, and health program exposure were not significantly associated with increased postnatal care of mother and newborn.


Exposure to health programs and internet use are positively associated with four or more ANC visits. Exposure to mass media and health programs are positively associated with increased institutional delivery. Our findings imply that well-designed campaigns and awareness programs delivered through mass media platforms play a vital role in enhancing the uptake of maternal health services.

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