Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Peter Anderson


Obstetric fistula is among the public health issues that are preventable and treatable, as evidenced by its elimination in industrialized nations. The aim of this quantitative, cross-sectional study was to use Andersen’s behavioral model of health services utilization to examine the factors that predict the likelihood of experiencing obstetric fistula among women ages of 15 and 49 living in Uganda. Demographic risk factors (marital status, age at first pregnancy, level of education and income, and religious affiliation), medical risk factors (access to health care, distance from hospital, parity, and number of antenatal visits), the mode of delivery (C-section), and location of delivery were tested for the likelihood of experiencing obstetric fistula (dependent variable). Descriptive statistics revealed that 1.3 % of the study population had fistula. The logistic regression analysis showed that married women are more protected than their counterparts (AOR = 0.515, 95% CI [0.121-2.198], p = 0.370). Similarly, women who had access to health care were less likely to develop obstetric fistula (AOR = 0.661, 95% CI [0.282-1.554], p = 0.343). Chi-square test for these variables were significant (p = 0.012) but nonsignificant based on the multivariate logistic regression. Parity was the only variable that showed significance in the regression analysis (AOR = 3.424, 95% CI [1.000-11.716], p = 0.050). Thus, there is a need for more study in this area to further investigate these relationships. However, the study can be a catalyst in generating knowledge on the predictive factors for the development of obstetric fistula among this population and reduce how it affects the women among rural Ugandan communities, improving their lives and the lives of their families and communities leading to positive social change.