• antenatal care;
  • health service utilization;
  • pregnancy;
  • reproductive health

ABSTRACT Objective: To identify factors associated with any use of antenatal care (ANC), gestational age at entry to ANC, number of visits, and overall ANC utilization in the three provinces of Long an, Ben tre, and Quang ngai.

Data: The Vietnam-Australia Primary Health Care Project conducted cross-sectional surveys in 1998–1999. Data from 1,335 eligible women were available for analysis.

Methods: Explanatory variables were selected using the Andersen Health Seeking Behavior Model and analyzed using multivariate regression techniques.

Results: External environment, predisposing characteristics, and need, which existed before contact with ANC providers, were most related to using any ANC and gestational age at entry to ANC. However, ANC services provided to women and personal health care during pregnancy, which could have resulted from initial contact with ANC providers, were most related to continuation of ANC visits and overall ANC utilization. Significant variability in the use of ANC existed between provinces and between subsets of women in each province.

Conclusion: To have more women who attend ANC and attend early, promotion should be targeted at high-risk groups of women. However, to improve the number of ANC visits and overall utilization, the quality of ANC services should be improved.