Choices and constraints in reproductive health decision making among Malawian women


Dr. Alison Norris, College of Public Health, Epidemiology
Rank at time of award: Assistant Professor
Dr. Abigail Norris-Turner,  College of Public Health, Epidemiology,
College of Medicine, Infectious Diseases
Rank at time of award: Assistant Professor


We seek to study the health and well-being of women of reproductive age in Malawi by initiating a transdisciplinary collaboration between faculty at Ohio State and research partners in sub-Saharan Africa. With this innovative collaboration, we will collect pilot data which will, in turn, provide the foundation for a future large longitudinal cohort study in Malawi. This pilot project aims to assess women’s experiences, choices, and constraints in two realms: 1) fertility, family planning, pregnancy, and childbirth; and 2) HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment. The goals of this project are directly relevant to population science research by investigating decision-making and other behavioral aspects related to reproduction, fertility, contraception, and HIV/STI prevention. This research brings together scientists from OSU’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Medicine, and Public Health, as well as from Baylor College of Medicine and Malawi College of Medicine, who share a common interest in the health and well-being of reproductive age women, from three (often separate) perspectives: fertility and family planning, infectious diseases, and safe motherhood.

Publications resulting from this seed grant

Rao N*, Esber A, Turner A,, Chilewani J, Banda, V, Norris A. The impact of joint partner decision making on obstetric choices and obstetric outcomes among Malawian women. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics (accepted April 2016) PMCID:PMC5881379
Esber A*, Turner A, Gladson M, Norris A. Intravaginal practices among a cohort of women in rural Malawi. Sexual Health. April 2016. PMCID:PMC5117649