Association of Mass Media with Women’s HealthRisk Behavior and Service Utilization in Nepal

Background and Objective: Mass media can be a powerful tool for promoting maternal health and improving health outcomes, but it is important to carefully consider the design and implementation of media campaigns to ensure their effectiveness. This study investigates the link between media exposure and maternal healthcare seeking in Nepal, providing insights to improve women’s health and well-being.

Materials and Methods: Data were collected from 14,085 women aged 15-49 across urban and rural areas of Nepal’s seven provinces. Descriptive, bivariate and logistic regression analyses were conducted, considering individual, household and community-level variables to assess the association between mass media exposure and reproductive health outcomes among women in Nepal.

Results: The findings showed, that in comparison with women with no media exposure, women with media exposure were more prone to health service utilization. Logistic regression models revealed significant associations between media exposure and non-smoking (OR = 1.78, p = 0.001), abstaining from alcohol (OR =1.35, p = 0.001), menstrual hygiene management (OR=1.59, p = 0.001), CPR awareness (OR = 1.26, p = 0.001), knowledge of HIV (OR = 3.17, p = 0.001) and HIV testing (OR = 2.55, p = 0.001).

Conclusion: Media exposure among women in Nepal is linked to risky health behavior and increased health service utilization. This research informs targeted mass media campaigns for policymakers and healthcare practitioners, offering a potent tool to enhance maternal healthcare and overall health awareness in low-resource settings.

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