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01.12.2012 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

International Journal for Equity in Health 1/2012

Factors determining family planning in Catalonia. Sources of inequity

International Journal for Equity in Health > Ausgabe 1/2012
Carme Saurina, Laura Vall-llosera, Marc Saez
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1475-9276-11-35) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

CS designed the fieldwork which provided the data and worked on data modelling and drafting the article, MS did the statistical modelling and worked on drafting and revising the article, LV participated in the fieldwork which provided the data, data cleansing and the descriptive analysis of the same, and also worked on drafting and revising the article. All the authors read and approved the final manuscript.



In recent decades, the foreign population in Spain has increased significantly, particularly for Catalonia, an autonomous region of Spain (2.90% in 2000 and 15.95% in 2010) and in particular Girona province (6.18% in 2000 and 21.55% in 2010). Several studies have shown a lower use of family planning methods by immigrants. This same trend is observed in Spain. The objective of this paper is to determine the existence of differences and possible sources of inequity in the use of family planning methods among health service users in Catalonia (Spain) by sex, health status, place of birth and socioeconomic conditions.


Data were taken from an ad-hoc questionnaire which was compiled following a qualitative stage of individual interviews. Said questionnaire was administered to 1094 Catalan public health service users during 2007. A complete descriptive analysis was carried out for variables related to public health service users’ sociodemographic characteristics and variables indicating knowledge and use of family planning methods, and bivariate relationships were analysed by means of chi-square contrasts. Considering the use (or non-use) of family planning methods as a dependent variable and a set of demographic, socioeconomic and health status variables as explanatory factors, the relationship was modelled using mixed models.


The analysed sample is comprised of 54.3% women and 45.7% men, with 74.3% natives (or from the EU) and 25.7% economic immigrants. 54.8% use some method of family planning, the condom (46.7%) and the pill (28.0%) being the two most frequently used methods. Statistical modelling indicates that those factors which most influence the use of family planning methods are level of education (30.59% and 39.29% more likelihood) and having children over 14 (35.35% more likelihood). With regard to the origin of the user, we observe that patients from North Africa,sub. Saharan Africa and Asia are less likely to use family planning methods (36.68%, 38.59% and 70.51%, respectively).


The use of family planning methods is positively related to a higher level of education and having children over 14. Factors such as sex, age, income and self-perceived health do not appear to influence their use. Furthermore, being a native of this country, the European Union or Central/South America represents a greater likelihood of use than being African or Asian. Although no general differences in use were found between sexes, the difference found in the case of Asian women stands out, with a higher likelihood of use.
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