Does men’s involvement improve the health outcomes of their partners and children?

DHS male involvement report

Shireen Assaf and Lwendo Moonzwe Davis

Men’s involvement in the health of their partners and children can play an important role in improving health outcomes. Many interventions in reproductive, maternal, and child health adopt strategies that seek to increase men’s positive, equitable, and supportive involvement. This study used data from men’s responses in Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in 33 countries. We linked this information with information from women’s survey responses on outcomes for family planning, maternal, and child health outcomes. The objective was to learn whether men’s involvement, defined as having correct knowledge, positive attitudes, and supportive behaviors toward the health of their partners and children, has an association with specific reproductive, maternal, and child health outcomes. Adjusted logistic regression models were run for each outcome and its corresponding independent variable of interest, adjusting for control variables. Although in general few countries exhibited significant findings, the analysis found some significance in the associations between men’s involvement variables and outcomes related to family planning, antenatal care, and child health. The behavior of men discussing family planning with a health care worker showed significant association with their partners’ modern contraceptive use in most countries. Some countries exhibited a greater number of significant findings compared with other countries, which suggests the need for qualitative studies that could help explain these country-specific findings. The study also points to the need for strengthened measures within DHS surveys to capture men’s knowledge, attitudes, and behavior related to reproductive, maternal, and child health.

February 15, 2019
Year of publication
Resource types
Reports and Fact sheets
male involvement, health outcomes, DHS, Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), family planning, antenatal care, child health, contraceptive use

Similar Resources

Timely access to antiretroviral treatment (ART) is vital to ensuring safe motherhood and reducing vertical transmission. Treatment guidance and programming has changed dramatically in recent years.

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), information and communication technology (ICT) represents an important resource for enhancing the reach and effectiveness of HIV programming, as gay men and other men who have sex with men already use ICT to facilitate many…

Engaging women in the dialogue on VMMC can have broad impacts on voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) programs, especially when women become aware that circumcision can reduce HIV risk.

Male circumcision is being widely deployed as an HIV prevention strategy in countries with high HIV incidence, but its uptake in sub-Saharan Africa has been below targets.

Male partner involvement has the potential to increase uptake of interventions to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). Finding cultural appropriate strategies to promote male partner involvement in PMTCT programs remains an abiding public health challenge.

This study examined specific factors that explain adolescent boys’ level of motivation to undergo male circumcision (MC) in Zimbabwe. It applied the Integrated Behavioral Model (IBM) as the theoretic framework. The IBM focuses on six constructs.

HIV testing constitutes a key step along the continuum of HIV care. Men who have sex with men (MSM) have low HIV testing rates and delayed diagnosis, especially in low-resource settings. Peer-led interventions offer a strategy to increase testing rates in this population.

Global experts recognize the need to transform conventional models of healthcare to create adolescent responsive health systems.

Objective: This article provides an overview and interpretation of the performance of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief’s (PEPFAR’s) male circumcision programme which has supported the majority of voluntary medical male circumcisions (VMMCs) performed for HIV prev