1. Research Department, Foundation of Orthopaedic and Complex Spine (FOCOS) Hospital, Accra- Ghana.
The important role of women’s health care decision making autonomy in enhancing the well-being of women and their families cannot be undervalued. As such, this study sought to examine the determinants of health care decision making autonomy among mothers of children less than five years in Ghana using the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey dataset. A total of 5076 women were included in the analysis. Results showed that 75% of the Ghanaian women reported exercising health care decision making autonomy either alone (22%) or jointly with their partners (53%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that independent determinants of women’s health care decision making autonomy were women’s attainment of primary education (OR=1.52, 95%CI 1.1574 to 1.9861), secondary education (OR=1.46, 95% CI 1.1338 to 1.8784) or higher than secondary education (OR=2.20, 95%CI 1.2322 to 3.9547), women’s ability to make decisions about their earnings alone (OR=2.42, 95% CI 1.7570 to 3.3391) or jointly with their partners (OR=9.85, 95% CI 6.7215 to 14.4364), and having a partner who has attained primary education (OR=1.5,95%CI 1.0876 to 2.0641) or secondary education (OR=1.5,95%CI 1.1740 to 1.9247). Therefore, encouraging women to pursue education, improving their earnings autonomy whiles promoting education of partners remains a comprehensive way of enhancing women’s autonomy in health decision making in order to promote reproductive, maternal and child health.
Keywords: healthcare, decision making, autonomy, women, Ghana