Caregivers’ attitudes and perceptions towards approval/non-approval of contraceptive use among adolescents in Tororo District, Uganda
Izuegbunam, Eucharia Uchechukwu
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Introduction: In Uganda, adolescent pregnancy remains a key public health concern. The use of contraceptives by adolescents has been controversial. Although the adolescents’ caregivers are key in decision making for adolescents, there is paucity of data about caregivers’ attitudes and perceptions towards approval/non-approval of adolescent use of contraception in Tororo District. This study explored the caregivers’ attitudes and perceptions towards approval/non-approval of contraceptive use among adolescents in Tororo District Uganda. Methods: A qualitative exploratory study purposely selecting about 81 caregivers of adolescents aged 10 to 19 years. Six focus group discussions and nine in-depth interviews were conducted among caregivers of currently or ever been pregnant adolescents or with a male adolescent who has ever impregnated a girl. Analysis: Data were transcribed and subsequently analyzed with ATLAS.ti version 7.0 software program using content analysis. Using this approach, texts were coded into meaningful texts, condensed meaning units, and categories. Sub-themes and themes were developed. Important quotes and patterns were also identified. Results: Nearly all the caregivers had good knowledge of contraception and approved contraceptive use among adolescents. Most of the caregivers had positive attitudes and perceptions towards adolescent’s contraceptive use. Factors associated with caregivers’ attitudes and perceptions were mostly cultural and religious beliefs. Caregivers expressed that they influence their adolescents in all aspects especially when it comes to contraceptive use, nevertheless they start influencing their adolescent’s behavior at the age of eight and still make decisions for them including the married adolescents. Conclusion and recommendation: Caregivers have positive attitudes and perceptions toward contraceptive use among adolescents. However, there is need to improve health education among caregivers’ of adolescent, community and religious leaders on the importance of adolescents using contraceptives and to correct the numerous misconceptions that influence caregivers’ attitudes and perceptions.