Estimating the impact of antenatal care visits on institutional delivery in India: A propensity score matching analysis


Literature asserts that prenatal care is an imperative factor for subsequent health care utilization. However, in the Indian settings presence of selection bias while determining the impact of ANC visits on institutional delivery has been overlooked by the researchers. Therefore this paper aims to examine the net impact of ANC visits on subsequent utilization of institutional delivery after removing the presence of selection bias using recent round of National Family Health survey data. The analysis has been carried out in two separate models, in the first model 1-2 ANC visits been compared with no visit and in the second model three or more antenatal care visits with no visit. The propensity score matching analysis used in this study sheds new light into this line of research which provides an effective strategy for controlling the confounding influence of institutional delivery. Employing the propensity score matching estimation approach we found women who made 1-2 ANC visits had 6.6 percent higher chance to deliver in an institution compared to women who made no visit. In addition, if a woman visited health centre three or more than three times, her chances were 31 percent higher to deliver in an institution. Result based on sensitivity analysis suggests that selection bias on unobserved covariates would have to be around 40 percent to alter the impact of 1-2 ANC visits. Findings suggest that interventions which plan to increase institutional delivery should target pregnant women who come for ANC checkups at institution first time, and health workers should encourage women to return to the health centre for more numbers of visits, as our results indicate that three or more ANC visits significantly change the women’s attitudes towards institutional delivery.

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Dixit, P. , Dwivedi, L. and Ram, F. (2013) Estimating the impact of antenatal care visits on institutional delivery in India: A propensity score matching analysis. Health, 5, 862-878. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.55114.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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