Perceived Barriers of Using Modern Family Planning Methods among Women in Jordan: A Qualitative Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Child Health Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan;

2 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan;

3 Department of Allied Medical Sciences, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan;

4 Department of Health Management and Policy, Faculty of Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan;

5 Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin, USA;

6 Commonwealth Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Senior Project Director, University of Massachusetts, USA


Background: Some cultural and social factors may discourage the use of modern family planning (MFP) methods. The purpose of this study was to better understand the barriers and social norms that might affect women’s ability to take optimal advantage of the free family planning services offered by the Jordanian Ministry of Health (MOH).
Methods: Using a qualitative descriptive design, 7 focus group discussions were conducted from January to February 2018, with a purposive sample of 52 married women. Each group consisted of 6-12 participants. Ethical approvals were obtained. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis.
Results: Data analysis revealed three main themes and four subthemes. The first theme ‘conforming to social and cultural norms’ included the following subthemes: ‘to conform to family and social pressure to bear children’ and ‘to prioritize having male children’. The second theme ‘unmet needs in expected family planning counselling’ included the following subthemes: ‘need for consistency across providers in family planning counselling’, and ‘need for follow-up counselling’. The third theme was the ‘undesirable side-effects’ of the MFP methods, which included both the ‘experienced’ and the ‘anticipated’ side effects.
Conclusion: This study identified a number of women’s perceived barriers to using MFP methods. These included conforming to the social pressure, inconsistency of the counselling process, and undesirable side effects. Their perspectives should be carefully addressed in any family planning program.


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