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In BMC medical informatics and decision making ; h5-index 38.0

BACKGROUND : Skilled assistance during childbirth is essential to reduce maternal deaths. However, in Ethiopia, which is among the six countries contributing to more than half of the global maternal deaths, the coverage of births attended by skilled health personnel remains very low. The aim of this study was to identify determinants and develop a predictive model for skilled delivery service use in Ethiopia by applying logistic regression and machine-learning techniques.

METHODS : Data from the 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) was used for this study. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and Waikato Environment for Knowledge Analysis (WEKA) tools were used for logistic regression and model building respectively. Classification algorithms namely J48, Naïve Bayes, Support Vector Machine (SVM), and Artificial Neural Network (ANN) were used for model development. The validation of the predictive models was assessed using accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and area under Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve.

RESULTS : Only 27.7% women received skilled delivery assistance in Ethiopia. First antenatal care (ANC) [AOR = 1.83, 95% CI (1.24-2.69)], birth order [AOR = 0.22, 95% CI (0.11-0.46)], television ownership [AOR = 6.83, 95% CI (2.52-18.52)], contraceptive use [AOR = 1.92, 95% CI (1.26-2.97)], cost needed for healthcare [AOR = 2.17, 95% CI (1.47-3.21)], age at first birth [AOR = 1.96, 95% CI (1.31-2.94)], and age at first sex [AOR = 2.72, 95% CI (1.55-4.76)] were determinants for utilizing skilled delivery services during the childbirth. Predictive models were developed and the J48 model had superior predictive accuracy (98%), sensitivity (96%), specificity (99%) and, the area under ROC (98%).

CONCLUSIONS : First ANC and contraceptive uses were among the determinants of utilization of skilled delivery services. A predictive model was developed to forecast the likelihood of a pregnant woman seeking skilled delivery assistance; therefore, the predictive model can help to decide targeted interventions for a pregnant woman to ensure skilled assistance at childbirth. The model developed through the J48 algorithm has better predictive accuracy. Web-based application can be build based on results of this study.

Tesfaye Brook, Atique Suleman, Azim Tariq, Kebede Mihiretu M


Machine learning, Skilled delivery