Mapping of Household Surveys to Measure Barriers to Access to Maternal and Child Health Services in India

Shivam Gupta, Priyanka Das, Siddhartha Kumar, Arindam Das, P. R. Sodani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To map the range of access barrier indicators for which data can be derived from the three most common health related household surveys in India. Methods: A mapping review study was conducted to identify access dimensions and indicators of access barriers for maternal and child health (MCH) services included in three household surveys in India: National Family Health Survey (NFHS), District Level Household and Facility Survey (DLHS) and Annual Health Survey (AHS). Results: The Tanahashi framework for effective coverage of health services was used in this study, and 12 types of access barriers were identified, from which 23 indicators could be generated. These indicators measure self-reported access barriers for unmet healthcare needs through delayed care, as well as forgone care, and unsatisfactory experiences during health service provision. Multiple barriers could be identified, although there was marked heterogeneity in variables included and how barriers were measured. Conclusions: This study identified tracer indicators that could be used in India to monitor the population that experiences healthcare needs but fails to seek and obtain appropriate healthcare, and determine what the main barriers are. The surveys identified are well validated and allow the disaggregation of these indicators by equity stratifiers. Given the variability of the frequency and methodologies used in these surveys, comparability could be limited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-19
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Health Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Household surveys
  • Tanahashi framework
  • barriers to access of care
  • delayed care
  • equity stratifiers
  • forgone care
  • maternal and child health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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