Barriers to adolescents' access and utilisation of reproductive health services in a community in north-western nigeria: A qualitative exploratory study in primary care
Nmadu, Awawu Grace
Usman, Nafisat Ohunene
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There is a dearth of qualitative studies exploring in-depth barriers that adolescents face in accessing and utilising reproductive health services (RHS) in Nigerian primary healthcare centres. Aim: This study explored the barriers hindering adolescents' access to and utilisation of RHS in primary healthcare centres. Setting: This study was conducted in three primary healthcare centres in Kaduna North Local government area, Nigeria. Methods: This study used an exploratory descriptive qualitative design. Fourteen adolescents and three RHS providers were selected and interviewed. The data collection methods included individual in-depth interviews with adolescents and key informant interviews with service providers. Interviews were conducted between January 2017 and April 2017. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse the data. Results: This study identified three thematic barriers to adolescent's utilisation of RHS. These included individual, social and health system barriers. Individual factors included the following: inadequate knowledge about RHS and poor attitudes of adolescents towards RHS; social factors such as parental influence, community and religious norms, financial constraints and stigma; and health system factors such as poor attitudes of service providers and inconvenient health facility opening hours hindered adolescents from utilising RHS.