Spousal Verbal Communication Patterns on Reproductive Tract Infections among Married Women in Kiambu County, Kenya

Thumbnail Image
Ndung’u, Gladys Wangui
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Kenyatta University
Reproductive tract infections (RTIS) adversely affect the reproductive health of both women and men. However, the consequences are widespread and devastating among women. Limited information is available about spousal communication on reproductive tract infections among women in Kenya. This study was designed to investigate factors influencing spousal verbal communication on reproductive tract infections, determine the level of knowledge of the common symptoms and treatment practices in spousal communication on RTIs and assess spousal verbal communication patterns on RTIs among married women in Thika Sub-County, Kenya. This study used a cross-section design. A total of eight reproductive health personnel participated as key informants. Using structured questionnaires, a simple random sampling was employed to collect data from 422 married women with RTIs and attending Thika Reproductive Health Unit. The findings from this study reported that the secondary level of education and urban residence were independent predictors of spousal communication among married women in Thika Sub-County, Kenya (p<0.001). The odd ratio of spousal communication in the tertiary level of education was 4.482 times greater than that of the primary level of education on RTIs. Besides, the odds ratio of spousal communication among respondents who resided in the urban areas was 2.816 times greater than those who resided in the rural areas on RTIs. The urban residence as well as the secondary and tertiary levels of education were also significant predictors of good spousal communication on RTIs (p<0.05). The women who knew the symptoms of RTIs were more likely to verbally discuss with their spouses than who had no knowledge on the same (57.7% vs. 35.5% p = <0.05). The respondents who used condoms were more likely to communicate with their partners on the symptoms of RTIs than those who did not (58.3% vs. 43.7%; p<0.05). Most of the respondents who sought treatment communicated with their partners on RTIs at 55.6% as opposed to those who never sought treatment at 38.9% (p<0.05). The highest proportion of women who abstained communicated with their partner compared to those who never abstained (60.3% vs. 45.3%; p<0.05). There was an association between spousal verbal communication patterns on RTIs, residence and level of education (p<0.05). In conclusion, tertiary education and urban residence were independent socio-demographic predictors of spousal communication on RTIs among married women in Thika Sub-County. Besides, there was an association between spousal communication on RTIs with knowledge, use of condoms, sex abstinence and seeking treatment. The residence and level of education were significantly associated with the spousal communication patterns on the RTIs. This study recommends fostering open and effective communication between spouses allows partners to voice out their concerns and worries about reproductive health issues. This ensures co-operation in seeking treatment and strategizing on preventive measures.
A Research Thesis Submitted in Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Award of the Degree of Master of Public Health (Reproductive Health Option) in the School of Public Health and Applied Human Sciences of Kenyatta University, November, 2021
Spousal Verbal Communication Patterns, Reproductive Tract Infections, Married Women, Kiambu County, Kenya