Journal of Biosocial Science


Use of maternal–child health services and contraception in Guatemala and Panama

Charles W. Warrena1, Richard S. Monteitha1, J. Timothy Johnsona1, Roberto Santisoa2, Federico Guerraa3 and Mark W. Oberlea1

a1 Division of Reproductive Health, Center for Health Promotion and Education, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

a2 Asociation Pro-Bienestar de la Familia, Guatemala

a3 Ministry of Health, Panama


This paper presents data from two recent maternal–child health (MCH) and family planning surveys in Guatemala and Panama and examines the extent to which the use of contraception is influenced by the use of MCH services as compared with the influence of an increase in parity. The findings suggest that utilization of MCH services and parity independently are associated with a woman's decision to use contraception. The study also found two groups that appear to be particularly in need of both MCH and family planning services: high parity women and Indians. In both Guatemala and Panama, improved health care services for these two groups should be a priority.

(Received July 10 1986)