Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Nursing


School of Nursing


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Doctor Nancy Hudson-Rodd


The purpose of this study was to explore and analyse factors that influence the low utilisation of natural family planning methods. A theoretical framework adapted from Betty Neuman's Systems Model was used to guide the study. Using Betty Neuman's Systems Model the person or client's behaviour influenced by the continuous interaction with the environment. The factors investigated were the women's personal characteristics, age, occupation, marital status and education, cultural influences which included the relationship between the husband and wife and the religious belief of the women. The last factor investigated was the influence of the info1111ation practices and family planning methods by the health personnel. A descriptive survey design using a personal interview schedule and focus group discussion was used to collect data. The target population consisted of women of child bearing age (15-49 years) living in Mongu urban district, a western province of Zambia. One hundred women participated in the personal interview in their own homes. Twenty women of the same group participated in two focus group discussions conducted at two health centres. Data were analysed and presented using frequency distribution statistics, cross tabulation and content analysis of main themes for open ended questions in categories. The major findings were that age, marital status, occupation, the husband at1d the practices of health performed had either facilitative or disruptive effects on whether the women used natural family planning methods. For example, the results strongly demonstrated that older women had mere knowledge of, and used natural family planning more than younger women. Employed women had more knowledge of, and used natural family planning more than the housewives; those at school and at home. Some women did not use natural family planning because their husbands were not willing. Other women did not use natural family planning because it was not encouraged by the health personnel. Education had very little influence on use of natural family planning methods in this study, compared to previous research studies which had indicated that women with higher education used family planning methods more than those less educated. Although the results could not be generalised due to the convenience sample used, they supported some of the factors identified in previous research studies. A number of implications for nursing practice were outlined and nurses need to be trained in natural family planning in order to increase the number of health professionals who can teach natural family planning methods. The husbands need to be involved in the issues of natural family planning