Published: 2021-08-27

Comparative study of knowledge, attitudes, and practices of maternal health care utilization in rural and urban areas of Mysuru, India

Sara Richards, Praveen Kulkarni, Nayanabai Shabadi, David R. Hill


achieve the sustainable development goals in India. Despite government initiatives, lack of utilization of available maternal health care remains a major issue. This study aimed to determine the social and cultural driving forces behind maternal health care utilization, and the knowledge, attitudes and practices among rural and urban women.

Methods: Participants were pregnant and lactating women receiving care at primary health centers in or surrounding Mysuru. Quantitative variables were assessed with cross-sectional analysis of a survey of maternal health knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Qualitative data were gathered using focus group discussions regarding health care utilization. The analysis included 56 urban women and 36 rural women (n=92).

Results: There was a statistically significant difference in overall knowledge (p=0.004) between urban and rural women with rural participants having more overall knowledge. There are significant positive correlations (p=0.01) between knowledge and practice, knowledge and attitude, and the practice and attitude domains.

Conclusions: The knowledge gap between urban and rural women may be attributed to the prevalence of accredited social health activists (ASHAs) in rural communities. Incentivizing more urban women to become ASHAs can help close this gap between the two environments. Strategies dedicated to broadening the fund of health care education of the community will in turn improve on practice.


ASHA, India, Global health, Maternal health, Women’s health

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