Percent of non-use related to psycho-social barriers

The proportion of women who want to use a reproductive health (RH) service who avoid use because of barriers of a psychosocial nature; for example, fear (of negative social stigma, embarrassment, discomfort) or social restrictions (e.g., against women traveling alone to seek services)

This indicator focuses on factors that deter a woman or man who wants to use a certain service or practice from doing so. For example, adolescents wishing to obtain information and services from a local clinic might be deterred from doing so by fear of being seen at the clinic or being judged by friends to have low moral standards. A woman wanting to be tested for HIV might fear some type of violent reaction from her husband should he find out. Note: this indicator does not apply to the case where the individual is not even interested in the service.

This indicator is calculated as:

(# who report non-use due to psycho-social barriers/ Total # of clients seeking RH services) x 100

Information on reasons for non-use of services or RH practices among individuals interested in but avoiding a particular service or practice


Population-based surveys; alternatively, focus group discussions (although they do not yield a quantitative result)


This indicator provides a measure of the extent to which access to available RH services is limited by barriers of psychological, attitudinal, or social origin.


Given the context-specific nature of factors falling under this heading, the reasons for non-use of services will likely vary from setting to setting. Thus, the exact numerical figure associated with a particular barrier or factor may be less important than the rank ordering of problems. In view of this, data from focus groups (that do not provide results in quantitative terms such as percentages or ratios) may be more valuable in identifying barriers of this type than data derived from structured interviews are.


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