Strategies to Improve Child Immunization via Antenatal Care Visits in India: A Propensity Score Matching Analysis

PLoS One
[Accessed 22 June 2013]

Strategies to Improve Child Immunization via Antenatal Care Visits in India: A Propensity Score Matching Analysis
Priyanka Dixit, Laxmi Kant Dwivedi, Faujdar Ram
Research Article | published 18 Jun 2013 | PLOS ONE 10.1371/journal.pone.0066175

Numerous studies have examined the empirical evidence concerning the influence of demographic and socio-economic factors influencing child immunization, but no documentation is available which shows the actual impact of antenatal care (ANC) visits on subsequent child immunization. Therefore, this paper aims to examine the net impact of ANC visits on subsequent utilization of child immunization after removing the presence of selection bias. Nationwide data from India’s latest National Family Health Survey conducted during 2005–06 is used for the present study. The analysis has been carried out in the two separate models, in the first model 1–2 ANC visit and in the second model three or more ANC visits has been compared with no visit. We have used propensity score matching method with a counterfactual model that assesses the actual ANC visits effect on treated (ANC visits) and untreated groups (no ANC visit), and have employed Mantel-Haenszel bounds to examine whether result would be free from hidden bias or not. Using matched sample analysis result shows that child immunization among the groups of women who have completed 1–2 ANC visits and those who had more than two visits was about 13 percent and 19 percent respectively, higher than the group of women who have not made any ANC visit. Findings of nearest neighbor matching with replacement method, which completely eliminated the bias, indicate that selection bias present in data set leads to overestimates the positive effects of ANC visits on child immunization. Result based on Mantel-Haenszel bounds method suggest that if around 19 percent bias would be involved in the result then also we could observe the true positive effect of 1–2 ANC visits on child immunization. This also indicates that antenatal clinics are the conventional platforms for educating pregnant women on the benefits of child immunization.