Background: Healthcare workers may affect the utilization of sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) services, and quality of care thereof, for example by their behaviours or attitudes they hold. This can become a hindrance to accessing and utilizing SRH services, particularly by young people, and thus a better understanding of these behaviours and associated factors is needed to improve access to and utilization of SRH services.
Methods: A systematic review of literature was conducted to identify studies focusing on healthcare workers' behaviors and personal determinants associated with providing adequate SRH services in sub-Saharan Africa (January 1990 - October 2015). Five databases were searched until 30th October 2015, using a search strategy that was adapted based on the technical requirements of each specific database. Articles were independently screened for eligibility by two researchers. Of the 125-screened full-text articles, 35 studies met all the inclusion criteria.
Results: Negative behaviours and attitudes of healthcare workers, as well as other personal determinants, such as poor knowledge and skills of SRH services, and related factors, like availability of essential drugs and equipment are associated with provision of inadequate SRH services. Some healthcare workers still have negative attitudes towards young people using contraceptives and are more likely to limit access to and utilization of SRH by adolescents especially. Knowledge of and implementation of specific SRH components are below optimum levels according to the WHO recommended guidelines.
Conclusions: Healthcare workers' negative behaviours and attitudes are unlikely to encourage women in general to access and utilize SRH services, but more specifically young women. Knowledge of SRH services, including basic emergency obstetric care (EmOC) is insufficient among healthcare workers in SSA.
- Healthcare worker behaviour
- Personal determinants
- Sexual and reproductive healthcare
- Adolescent health
- Maternal health
- Child health
- Healthcare services
- Systematic review
- CONTINUING MEDICAL-EDUCATION
- OBSTETRIC CARE
- EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION