Publications

2020
Pearson E, Senderowicz L, Pradhan E, Francis J, Muganyizi P, Shah I, Canning D, Karra M, Ulenga N, Bärnighausen T. Effect of a postpartum family planning intervention on postpartum intrauterine device counseling and choice: evidence from a cluster-randomized trial in Tanzania. BMC Women's Health [Internet]. 2020;20 (102) :1-13. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Background

The World Health Organization recommends postpartum family planning (PPFP) for healthy birth spacing. This study is an evaluation of an intervention that sought to improve women’s access to PPFP in Tanzania. The intervention included counseling on PPFP during antenatal and delivery care and introducing postpartum intrauterine device (PPIUD) insertion as an integrated part of delivery services for women electing PPIUD in the immediate postpartum period.

Methods

This cluster-randomized controlled trial recruited 15,264 postpartum Tanzanian women aged 18 or older who delivered in one of five study hospitals between January and September 2016. We present the effectiveness of the intervention using a difference-in-differences approach to compare outcomes, receipt of PPIUD counseling and choice of PPIUD after delivery, between the pre- and post-intervention period in the treatment and control group. We also present an intervention adherence-adjusted analysis using an instrumental variables estimation.

Results

We estimate linear probability models to obtain effect sizes in percentage points (pp). The intervention increased PPIUD counseling by 19.8 pp (95% CI: 9.1 – 22.6 pp) and choice of PPIUD by 6.3 pp (95% CI: 2.3 – 8.0 pp). The adherence-adjusted estimates demonstrate that if all women had been counseled, we would have observed a 31.6 pp increase in choice of PPIUD (95% CI: 24.3 – 35.8 pp). Among women counseled, determinants of choosing PPIUD included receiving an informational leaflet during counseling and being counseled after admission for delivery services.

Conclusions

The intervention modestly increased the rate of PPIUD counseling and choice of PPIUD, primarily due to low coverage of PPIUD counseling among women delivering in study facilities. With universal PPIUD counseling, large increases in choice of PPIUD would have been observed. Giving women informational materials on PPIUD and counseling after admission for delivery are likely to increase the proportion of women choosing PPIUD.

pearson_et_al._2020_effect_of_a_ppfp_intervention_in_tanzania.pdf
Puri MC, Joshi S, Khadka A, Pearson E, Dhungel Y, Shah IH. Exploring reasons for discontinuing use of immediate post-partum intrauterine device in Nepal: A qualitative study. Reproductive Health [Internet]. 2020;17 (41). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Abstract

Background

Postpartum intrauterine device (PPIUD) use remains very low in Nepal despite high levels of unmet need for postpartum family planning and the national government’s efforts to promote its use. This study investigates reasons for continuing or discontinuing PPIUD use among Nepali women.

Methods

We conducted in-depth interviews (IDIs) with 13 women who had discontinued PPIUD use and 12 women who were continuing to use the method 9 months or longer following the insertion. All interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, translated into English, and analyzed using a thematic approach.

Results

Women discontinued PPIUD for several reasons: 1) side effects such as excessive bleeding during menstruation, nausea, back and abdominal pain; 2) poor quality of counselling and, relatedly, mismatched expectations in terms of device use; and 3) lack of family support from husbands and in-laws. In contrast, women who were continuing to use the method at the time of the study stated that they had not experienced side-effects, had received appropriate information during counselling sessions, and had the backing of their family members in terms of using PPIUD.

Conclusion

Experiencing side-effects or complications following PPIUD insertion and poor quality of family planning counselling were the two main reasons for discontinuation. Family members appeared to play a major role in influencing a woman’s decision to continue or discontinue PPIUD suggesting that counseling may need to be expanded to them as well. Improving quality of counselling by providing complete and balanced information of family planning methods as well as ensuring sufficient time for counselling and extending PPIUD service availability at lower level clinics/health posts will potentially increase the uptake and continued use of postpartum family planning, including PPIUD, in Nepal.

puri_m.c._-_exploring_reasons_for_discontinuing_use_of_immediate_post-partum_intrauterine_device_in_nepal.pdf
Puri MC, Moroni M, Pearson E, Pradhan E, Shah IH. Investigating the quality of family planning counselling as part of routine antenatal care and its effect on intended postpartum contraceptive method choice among women in Nepal. BMC Women's Health [Internet]. 2020;20 (29) :1-11. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Background

Though modern contraceptive use among married women in Nepal has increased from 26% in 1996 to 43% in 2016, it remains low among postpartum women. Integration of counselling on family planning (FP) at the time of antenatal care (ANC) and delivery has the potential to increase post-partum contraceptive use. This study investigates the quality of FP counselling services provided during ANC visits and women’s perceptions of its effectiveness in assisting them to make a post-partum family planning (PPFP) decision.

Methods

In-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted with 24 pregnant women who had attended at least two ANC visits in one of the six public hospitals that had received an intervention that sought to integrate FP counselling in maternity care services and introduce postpartum intrauterine device insertion in the immediate postpartum period. IDIs data were collected as part of a process evaluation of this intervention. Women were selected using maximum variation sampling to represent different socio-demographic characteristics. IDIs were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim in Nepali, and translated into English. Data were organized using Bruce-Jain quality of care framework and analyzed thematically.

Results

Overall, the quality of FP counselling during ANC was unsatisfactory based on patient expectations and experience of interactions with providers, as well as FP methods offered. Despite their interest, most women reported that they did not receive thorough information about FP, and about a third of them said that they did not receive any counselling services on PPFP. Reasons for dissatisfaction with counselling services included very crowded environment, short time with the provider, non-availability of provider, long waiting times, limited number of days for ANC services, and lack of comprehensive FP-related information, education and counselling (IEC) materials. Women visiting hospitals with a dedicated FP counselor reported higher quality of FP counselling.

Conclusions

There is an urgent need to re-visit the format of counselling on PPFP during ANC visits, corresponding IEC materials, counselling setting, and to strengthen availability and interaction with providers in order to improve quality, experience and satisfaction with FP counselling during ANC visits. Improvements in infrastructure and human resources are also needed to adequately meet women’s needs.

Investigating the quality of family planning counselling as part of routine antenatal care and its effect on intended postpartum contraceptive method choice among women in Nepal
Huber-Krum S, Khadka A, Pradhan E, Rohr J, Puri M, Maharjan D, Joshi S, Shah I, Canning D. The Effect of Antenatal Counseling and Intrauterine Device Insertion Services on Postpartum Contraceptive Use in Nepal: Results from a Stepped-Wedge Randomized Controlled Trial. Contraception [Internet]. 2020. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Objective

There is high unmet need for family planning in the postpartum period in Nepal. The current study assessed the effects of a contraceptive counseling and postpartum intrauterine device (PPIUD) insertion intervention on use of contraception in the postpartum period.

Study design

We utilized a cluster, stepped-wedge design to randomly assign two hospital clusters (compromised of six hospitals) to begin the intervention at time one or time two. From 2015 to 2017, women completed surveys after delivery but before discharge ( n = 75,893), and then at one year and two years postpartum. We estimated the intent-to-treat effect of the intervention using weighted, linear probability models and the adherence-adjusted effect (antenatal counseling) using an instrumental variable approach. Outcomes included modern contraceptive use and method mix measured at one and two years postpartum in a sample of 19,298 women (year I follow-up sample) and a sample of 19,248 women (year II follow-up sample). We used inverse probability weights to adjust for incomplete follow-up and bootstrap methods to give correct causal inference with the small number of six clusters.

Results

The intervention increased use of modern contraceptives by 3.8 percentage points [95% CI: −0.1, 9.5] at one-year postpartum, but only 0.3 percentage points [95% CI: −3.7, 4.1] at two years. The intervention significantly increased the use of PPIUDs at one year and two years postpartum, but there was less use of sterilization. Only 42% of women were counseled during the intervention period. The adherence-adjusted effects (antenatal counseling) were four times larger than the intent-to-treat effects.

Conclusions

Providing counseling during the antenatal period and PPIUD services in hospitals increased use of PPIUDs in the one- and two-year postpartum period and shifted the contraceptive method mix.

Implications

In order for antenatal counseling to increase postpartum contraceptive use, counseling may need to be provided in a wider range of prenatal care settings and at multiple time points. Healthcare providers should be trained on contraceptive counseling and PPIUD insertion, with the goal of expanding the available method mix and meeting postpartum women’s contraceptive needs.

The effect of antenatal counseling and intrauterine device insertion services on postpartum contraceptive use in Nepal: Results from a stepped-wedge randomized controlled trial
2019
Huber-Krum S, Hackett K, Senderowicz L, Pearson E, Francis JM, Siril H, Ulenga N, Shah I. Women's Perspectives on Postpartum Intrauterine Devices in Tanzania. Studies in Family Planning [Internet]. 2019 :1-20. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Despite the numerous benefits of the postpartum copper intrauterine device (PPIUD), which is inserted within 48 hours after giving birth, it is underutilized in many resource‐constrained settings, including Tanzania. We conducted in‐depth interviews with 20 pregnant women who received contraceptive counseling during routine antenatal care in 2016–2017 and 27 postpartum women who had a PPIUD inserted in 2018 to understand reasons for use versus nonuse and continuation versus discontinuation. Primary motivators for using a PPIUD included: convenience, effectiveness, perceived lack of side effects, and duration of pregnancy protection. Barriers to use included: fear of insertion, concerns related to sexual experiences post‐insertion, and limited knowledge. Women who had a PPIUD inserted continued use when their expectations matched their experience, while discontinuation resulted from unexpected expulsion and experience of unanticipated side effects. Frequent follow‐up and guidance on side‐effect management influenced women's decisions to continue use. To support uptake and continued utilization of the PPIUD, postpartum contraceptive counseling should explicitly address side effects and risk of expulsion.
Karra M, Pearson E, Canning D, Shah I, de Silva R, Samarasekera A. Ethnolinguistic Concordance and the Receipt of Postpartum IUD Counseling Services in Sri Lanka. International Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health [Internet]. 2019;44 (4) :133-145. Publisher's VersionAbstract
CONTEXT

Ethnic and linguistic concordance are important dimensions of the patient-physician relationship, and are linked to health care disparities. However, evidence on the associations between health behavior and outcomes and patient-provider concordance is limited, especially in low- and middle-income settings.

METHODS

To examine how concordance between women and their primary health midwife is associated with women's receipt of postpartum IUD counseling, observational data from a cluster-randomized trial assessing an intervention to increase postpartum IUD counseling were used. Data on 4,497 women who delivered at six hospitals in Sri Lanka between September 2015 and March 2017 were merged with data on 245 primary health midwives, and indicators of linguistic concordance, ethnic concordance and their interaction were generated. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to assess the associations between concordance and women's receipt of counseling.

RESULTS

Women from non-Sinhalese groups in Sri Lanka face disparities in the receipt of postpartum IUD counseling. Compared with the ethnolinguistic majority (Sinhalese women who speak only Sinhala), non-Sinhalese women have lower odds of having received postpartum IUD counseling, whether they speak both Sinhala and Tamil (odds ratio, 0.6) or only Tamil (0.5). Ethnic discordance— rather than linguistic discordance—is the primary driver of this disparity.

CONCLUSIONS

The findings highlight the need for interventions that aim to bridge the sociocultural gaps between providers and patients. Matching women and their providers on ethnolinguistic background may help to reduce disparities in care.

Ethnolinguistic Concordance and the Receipt of Postpartum IUD Counseling Services in Sri Lanka
Karra M, Pearson E, Pradhan E, de Silva R, Samarasekera A, Canning D, Shah I, Weerasekera D, Senanayake H. The effect of a postpartum IUD intervention on counseling and choice: Evidence from a cluster-randomized stepped-wedge trial in Sri Lanka. Trials [Internet]. 2019;20 (407) :1-15. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Background

The International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), in collaboration with the Sri Lankan College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists (SLCOG), launched an initiative in 2014 to institutionalize immediate postpartum IUD (PPIUD) services as a routine part of antenatal counseling and delivery room services in Sri Lanka. In this study, we evaluate the effect of the FIGO-SLCOG PPIUD intervention in six hospitals by means of a cluster-randomized stepped-wedge trial.

Methods/design

Six hospitals were randomized into two groups of three using matched pairs. Following a 3-month baseline period, the intervention was administered to the first group, while the second group received the intervention after 9 months of baseline data collection. We collected data from 39,084 women who delivered in these hospitals between September 2015 and January 2017. We conduct an intent-to-treat (ITT) analysis to determine the impact of the intervention on PPIUD counseling and choice of PPIUD, as measured by consent to receive a PPIUD, as well as PPIUD uptake (insertion following delivery). We also investigate how factors related to counseling, such as counseling timing and quality, are linked to choice of PPIUD.

Results

We find that the intervention increased rates of counseling, from an average counseling rate of 12% in all hospitals prior to the intervention to an average rate of 51% in all hospitals after the rollout of the intervention (0.307; 95% CI 0.148–0.465). In contrast, we find the impact of the intervention on choice of PPIUD to be less robust and mixed, with 4.1% of women choosing PPIUD prior to the intervention compared to 9.8% of women choosing PPIUD after the rollout of the intervention (0.027; 95% CI 0.000–0.054).

Conclusions

This study demonstrates that incorporating PPIUD services into postpartum care is feasible and potentially effective. Taking the evidence on both counseling and choice of PPIUD together, we find that the intervention had a generally positive impact on receipt of PPIUD counseling and, to a lesser degree, on choice of the PPIUD. Nevertheless, it is clear that the intervention’s effectiveness can be improved to be able to meet the demand for postpartum family planning of women.

karra_et_al-2019-trials.pdf
Pradhan E, Canning D, Shah IH, Puri M, Pearson E, Thapa K, Bajracharya L, Maharjan M, Maharjan DC, Bajracharya L, et al. Integrating postpartum contraceptive counseling and IUD insertion services into maternity care in Nepal: results from stepped-wedge randomized controlled trial. Reproductive Health [Internet]. 2019;16 (69). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Background

In Nepal, 54% of women have an unmet need for family planning within the 2 years following a birth. Provision of a long-acting and reversible contraceptive method at the time of birth in health facilities could improve access to postpartum family planning for women who want to space or limit their births. This paper examines the impact of an intervention that introduced postpartum contraceptive counseling in antenatal care and immediate postpartum intra-uterine device (PPIUD) insertion services following institutional delivery, with the intent to eventually integrate PPIUD counseling and insertion services as part of routine maternity care in Nepal.

Methods

This study took place in six large tertiary hospitals. All women who gave birth in these hospitals in the 18-month period between September 2015 and March 2017 were asked to participate. A total of 75,587 women (99.6% consent rate) gave consent to be interviewed while in postnatal ward after delivery and before discharge from hospital. We use a stepped-wedge cluster randomized design with randomization of the intervention timing at the hospital level. The baseline data collection began prior to the intervention in all hospitals and the intervention was introduced into the hospitals in two steps, with first group of three hospitals implementing the intervention 3 months after the baseline had begun, and second group of three hospitals implementing the intervention 9 months after the baseline had begun. We estimate the overall effect using a linear regression with a wild bootstrap to estimate valid standard errors given the cluster randomized design. We also estimate the effect of being counseled on PPIUD uptake.

Results

Our Intent-to-Treat analysis shows that being exposed to the intervention increased PPIUD counseling among women by 25 percentage points (pp) [95% CI: 14–40 pp], and PPIUD uptake by four percentage points [95% CI: 3–6 pp]. Our adherence-adjusted estimate shows that, on average, being counseled due to the intervention increased PPIUD uptake by about 17 percentage points [95% CI: 14–40 pp].

Conclusions

The intervention increased PPIUD counseling rates and PPIUD uptake among women in the six study hospitals. If counseling had covered all women in the sample, PPIUD uptake would have been higher. Our results suggest that providing high quality counseling and insertion services generates higher demand for PPIUD services and could reduce unmet need.

Trial registration

Trial registered on March 11, 2016 with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02718222.

Integrating postpartum contraceptive counseling and IUD insertion services into maternity care in Nepal: results from stepped-wedge randomized controlled trial
Pradhan E, Pearson E, Puri M, Maharjan M, Maharjan DC, Shah I. Determinants of imbalanced sex ratio at birth in Nepal: evidence from secondary analysis of a large hospital-based study and nationally-representative survey data. BMJ Open [Internet]. 2019;9 (1). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Objectives To quantify sex ratios at births (SRBs) in hospital deliveries in Nepal, and understand the socio-demographic correlates of skewed SRB. Skewed SRBs in hospitals could be explained by sex selective abortion, and/or by decision to have a son delivered in a hospital—increased in -utero investments for male fetus. We use data on ultrasound use to quantify links between prenatal knowledge of sex, parity and skewed SRBs.

Design Secondary analysis of: (1) de-identified data from a randomizedrandomised controlled trial, and (2) 2011 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS).

Setting Nepal.

Participants (1) 75 428 women who gave birth in study hospitals, (2) NDHS: 12 674 women aged 15–49 years.

Outcome measures SRB, and conditional SRB of a second child given first born male or female were calculated.

Results Using data from 75 428 women who gave birth in six tertiary hospitals in Nepal between September 2015 and March 2017, we report skewed SRBs in these hospitals, with some hospitals registering deliveries of 121 male births per 100 female births. We find that a nationally representative survey (2011 NDHS) reveals no difference in the number of hospital delivery of male and female babies. Additionally, we find that: (1) estimated SRB of second-order births conditional on the first being a girl is significantly higher than the biological SRB in our study and (2) multiparous women are more likely to have prenatal knowledge of the sex of their fetus and to have male births than primiparous women with the differences increasing with increasing levels of education.

Conclusions Our analysis supports sex-selective abortion as the dominant cause of skewed SRBs in study hospitals. Comprehensive national policies that not only plan and enforce regulations against gender-biased abortions and, but also ameliorate the marginalizedmarginalised status of women in Nepal are urgently required to change this alarming manifestation of son preference.

 

Determinants of imbalanced sex ratio at birth in Nepal: evidence from secondary analysis of a large hospital-based study and nationally-representative survey data
2018
Puri MC, Maharajan M, Pearson E, Pradhan E, Dhungel Y, Khadka A, Shah IH. Delivering postpartum family planning services in Nepal: are providers supportive?. BMC Health Services Research [Internet]. 2018;18 (948). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Background

Health service providers play a key role in addressing women’s need for pregnancy prevention, especially during the postpartum period. Yet, in Nepal, little is known about their views on providing postpartum family planning (PPFP) services and postpartum contraceptive methods such as immediate postpartum intra-uterine devices (PPIUD). This paper explores the perspectives of different types of providers on PPFP including PPIUD, their confidence in providing PPFP services, and their willingness to share their knowledge and skills with colleagues after receiving PPFP and PPIUD training.

Methods

In-depth interviews were conducted with 14 obstetricians/gynecologists and nurses from six tertiary level public hospitals in Nepal after they received PPFP and PPIUD training as part of an intervention aimed at integrating PPFP counseling and insertion into routine maternity care services. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using a thematic approach.

Results

Providers identified several advantages of PPFP, supported the provision of such services, and were willing to transfer their newly acquired skills to colleagues in other facilities who had not received PPFP and PPIUD training. However, many providers identified several supply-side and training-related barriers to providing high quality PPFP services, such as, (i) lack of adequate human resources, particularly a FP counselor; (ii) work overload; (iii) lack of private space for counseling; (iv) lack of IUDs and information, education and counseling materials; and (v) lack of support from hospital management.

Conclusions

Providers appeared to be motivated to deliver quality PPFP services and transfer their knowledge to colleagues but identified several barriers which prevented them from doing so. Future efforts to improve provision of quality PPFP services should address the barriers identified by providers.

2017
Banerjee SK, Andersen K, Pearson E, Warvadekar J, Khan DU, Batra S. Evaluating the relative effectiveness of high-intensity and low-intensity models of behaviour change communication interventions for abortion care-seeking in Bihar and Jharkhand, India: a cross-sectional study. British Medical Journal [Internet]. 2017;7 (2). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Background

This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of a high-intensity model (HIM) and a low-intensity model (LIM) of behaviour change communication interventions in Bihar and Jharkhand states of India designed to improve women's knowledge and usage of safe abortion services, as well as the dose effect of intervention exposure.

Methods

We conducted two cross-sectional household surveys among married women aged 15–49 years in intervention and comparison districts. Difference-in-difference models were used to assess the efficacy of the intervention, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics.

Results

Although both intervention types improved abortion knowledge, the HIM intervention was more effective in improving comprehensive knowledge about abortion. In particular, there were improvements in knowledge on legality of abortion (AOR=2.2; 95% CI 1.6 to 2.9) and nearby sources of safe abortion care (AOR=1.7; 95% CI 1.2 to 1.3).

Conclusions

Higher level of exposure to abortion-related messages was related to more accurate knowledge about abortion within both intervention groups. Evidence was mixed on changes in abortion care-seeking behaviour. More work is needed to ensure that women seek safe abortion services in lieu of informal services that may be more likely to lead to postabortion complications.

Keywords: abortion, behaviour change, India, knowledge, post abortion

Biswas KK, Pearson E, Shahidullah SH, Sultana S, Chowdhury R, Andersen KL. Integrating postabortion care, menstrual regulation and family planning services in Bangladesh: a pre-post evaluation. Reproductive Health [Internet]. 2017;14 (37). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Background

In Bangladesh, abortion is restricted except to save the life of a woman, but menstrual regulation is allowed to induce menstruation and return to non-pregnancy after a missed period. MR services are typically provided through the Directorate General of Family Planning, while postabortion care services for incomplete abortion are provided by facilities under the Directorate General of Health Services. The bifurcated health system results in reduced quality of care, particularly for postabortion care patients whose procedures are often performed using sub-optimal uterine evacuation technology and typically do not receive postabortion contraceptive services. This study evaluated the success of a pilot project that aimed to integrate menstrual regulation, postabortion care and family planning services across six Directorate General of Health Services and Directorate General of Family Planning facilities by training providers on woman-centered abortion care and adding family planning services at sites offering postabortion care.

Methods

A pre-post evaluation was conducted in the six large intervention facilities. Structured client exit interviews were administered to all uterine evacuation clients presenting in the 2-week data collection period for each facility at baseline (n = 105; December 2011–January 2012) and endline (n = 107; February–March 2013). Primary outcomes included service integration indicators such as provision of menstrual regulation, postabortion care and family planning services in both facility types, and quality of care indicators such as provision of pain management, provider communication and women’s satisfaction with the services received. Outcomes were compared between baseline and endline for Directorate General of Family Planning and Directorate General of Health Services facilities, and chi-square tests and t-tests were used to test for differences between baseline and endline.

Results

At the end of the project there was an increase in menstrual regulation service provision in Directorate General of Health Services facilities, from none at baseline to 44.1% of uterine evacuation services at endline (p < 0.001). The proportion of women accepting a postabortion contraceptive method increased from 14.3% at baseline to 69.2% at endline in Directorate General of Health Services facilities (p = 0.006). Provider communication and women’s rating of the care they received increased significantly in both Directorate General of Health Services and Directorate General of Family Planning facilities.

Conclusions

Integration of menstrual regulation, postabortion care and family planning services is feasible in Bangladesh over a relatively short period of time. The intervention’s focus on woman-centered abortion care also improved quality of care. This model can be scaled up through the public health system to ensure women’s access to safe uterine evacuation services across all facility types in Bangladesh.

Keywords

Menstrual regulation Postabortion care Family planning Service integration Bangladesh health system

Reiss K, Andersen K, Barnard S, Ngo TD, Biswas K, Smith C, Carpenter J, Church K, Nuremowla S, Pearson E. Using automated voice messages linked to telephone counselling to increase post-menstrual regulation contraceptive uptake and continuation in Bangladesh: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics [Internet]. 2017;17 (769). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Background

Adoption of modern contraceptive methods after menstrual regulation (MR) is thought to reduce subsequent unwanted pregnancy and abortion. Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are highly effective at reducing unintended pregnancy, but uptake in Bangladesh is low. Providing information on the most effective methods of contraception increases uptake of more effective methods. This protocol describes a randomised controlled trial of an intervention delivered by mobile phone designed to support post-MR contraceptive use in Bangladesh.

Methods

This is a multi-site single blind individual randomised controlled trial. At least 960 women undergoing MR procedures at selected facilities will be recruited after their procedure by female research assistants. Women will be randomised into the control or intervention group with a 1:1 ratio.

All participants will receive usual clinic care, including contraceptive counselling and the telephone number of a non-toll-free call centre which provides counselling on MR and contraception. During the 4 months after their MR procedure, intervention participants will be sent 11 recorded interactive voice messages to their mobile phone about contraception with a focus on their chosen method and LARCs. Each message allows the participant to connect directly to the call centre. The intervention is free to the user. The control group will receive no messages delivered by mobile phone. All participants will be asked to complete an in-person questionnaire at recruitment and follow-up questionnaires by telephone at 2 weeks, 4 months and 12 months after their MR. The primary outcome for the trial will be self-reported LARC use 4 months post-MR. Secondary outcomes include LARC use at 2 weeks and 12 months post-MR, use of any effective modern contraceptive method at 2 weeks, 4 months and 12 months post-MR, and contraceptive discontinuation, contraceptive method switching, pregnancy, subsequent MR and experience of violence during the 12 month study period.

Discussion

Mobile phones offer a low-cost mechanism for providing individualised support to women with contraception outside of the clinic setting. This study will provide information on the effects of such an intervention among MR clients in Bangladesh.

Trial registration

Trial registered with clinicaltrials.gov Registration number: NCT02579785 Date of registration: 16th October 2015.

Keywords

mHealth Mobile phone Post-menstrual regulation Abortion Contraception Family planning Bangladesh Randomised controlled trial Protocol

Karra M, Subramanian SV, Fink G. Height in healthy children in low- and middle-income countries: an assessment. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [Internet]. 2017;105 (1). Publisher's VersionAbstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite rapid economic development and reductions in child mortality worldwide, continued high rates of early childhood stunting have put the global applicability of international child-height standards into question.

OBJECTIVES:

We used population-based survey data to identify children growing up in healthy environments in low- and middle-income countries and compared the height distribution of these children to the height distribution of the reference sample established by the WHO.

DESIGN:

Height data were extracted from 169 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHSs) that were collected across 63 countries between 1990 and 2014. Children were classified as having grown up in ideal environments if they 1) had access to safe water and sanitation; 2) lived in households with finished floors, a television, and a car; 3) were born to highly educated mothers; 4) were single births; and 5) were delivered in hospitals. We compared the heights of children in ideal environments with those in the WHO reference sample.

RESULTS:

A total of 878,249 height records were extracted, and 1006 children (0.1%) were classified as having been raised in an ideal home environment. The mean height-for-age z score (HAZ) in this sample was not statistically different from zero (95% CI: -0.039, 0.125). The HAZ SD for the sample was estimated to be 1.3, and 5.3% of children in the sample were classified as being stunted (HAZ <-2). Similar means, SDs, and stunting rates were found when less restrictive definitions of ideal environments were used.

CONCLUSION:

The large current gaps in children's heights relative to those of the reference sample likely are not due to innate or genetic differences between children but, rather, reflect children's continued exposure to poverty, a lack of maternal education, and a lack of access to safe water and sanitation across populations.

Karra M, Canning D, Shah IH, Foster S, Senanayake H, Rathnasiri UDP, Pathiraja RP. Location and content of counselling and acceptance of postpartum IUD in Sri Lanka. Reproductive Health [Internet]. 2017;14 (42). Publisher's VersionAbstract

BACKGROUND:

The immediate postpartum IUD (PPIUD) is a long-acting, reversible method of contraception that can be used safely and effectively following a birth. To appropriately facilitate the immediate postpartum insertion of IUDs, women must be informed of the method's availability and must be counselled on its benefits and risks prior to entering the delivery room. We examine the relationship between the location and quality of antenatal counselling and women's acceptance of immediate postpartum IUD (PPIUD) in four hospitals in Sri Lanka.

METHODS:

Data were collected between January 2015 and May 2015. Modified Poisson regressions with robust standard errors are used to assess the relationships between place of counselling, indicators of counselling quality, and PPIUD uptake following delivery.

RESULTS:

We find that women who were counselled in hospital antenatal clinics and admission wards were much more likely to have a PPIUD inserted than women who were counselled in field clinics or during home visits. Hospital-based counselling had higher quality indicators for providing information on PPIUD, and women were more likely to receive PPIUD information leaflets in hospital locations than in lower-tiered clinics or during home visits. Women who were counselled at hospital locations also reported a higher level of satisfaction with the counselling that they received. Receipt of hospital-based counselling was also linked to higher PPIUD uptake, in spite of the fact that women were more likely to be given information about the risks and alternatives to PPIUD in hospitals. The information about the risks of and alternatives to PPIUD, whether provided in hospital or in non-hospital settings, tended to lower the likelihood of acceptance to have a PPIUD insertion. Counselling in hospital admission wards was focused on women who had not been counselled at field clinics.

CONCLUSIONS:

The study findings call for efforts that improve the training of midwives who provide PPIUD counselling at field clinics and during the home visits. We also recommend that routine PPIUD counselling be conducted in hospitals, even if women have already been counselled elsewhere.

KEYWORDS:

Counselling; Postpartum IUD (PPIUD); Postpartum family planning; Quality of care; SRI Lanka

2016
Karra M, Fink G, Canning D. Facility distance and child mortality: a multi-country study of health facility access, service utilization, and child health outcomes. International Journal of Epidemiology [Internet]. 2016;46 (3). Publisher's VersionAbstract

BACKGROUND:

Access to health facilities remains limited in many resource-poor settings, and women and their children often have to travel far to seek care. However, data on distance are scarce, and it is unclear whether distance is associated with worse child health outcomes. We estimate the relationships between distance to facility, service utilization and child mortality in low- and middle-income countries.

METHODS:

Population-representative data are pooled from 29 demographic and health surveys across 21 low- and middle-income countries. Multivariable logistic models and meta-analysis regressions are used to estimate associations between facility distance, child mortality, and health care utilization in the pooled sample as well as for each survey.

RESULTS:

Compared with children who live within 1 km of a facility, children living within 2 km, 3 km, and 5 km of a facility have a 7.7% [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.927 - 1.251], 16.3% (95% CI: 1.020 - 1.327) and 25% (95% CI: 1.087 - 1.439) higher odds of neonatal mortality, respectively; children living farther than 10 km have a 26.6% (95% CI: 1.108 - 1.445) higher odds of neonatal mortality. Women living farther than 10 km from a facility have a 55.3% lower odds of in-facility delivery compared with women who live within 1 km [odds ratio (OR): 0.447; 95% CI: 0.394 - 0.508].

CONCLUSIONS:

Even relatively small distances from health facilities are associated with substantial mortality penalties for children. Policies that reduce travel distances and travel times are likely to increase utilization of health services and reduce neonatal mortality.

KEYWORDS:

Distance; antenatal care; child mortality; facility delivery; service availability

McGovern ME, Herbst K, Tanser F, Mutevedzi T, Canning D, Gareta D, Pillay D, Till B. Do gifts increase consent to home-based HIV testing? A difference-in-differences study in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. International Journal of Epidemiology [Internet]. 2016;45 (6). Publisher's VersionAbstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite the importance of HIV testing for controlling the HIV epidemic, testing rates remain low. Efforts to scale up testing coverage and frequency in hard-to-reach and at-risk populations commonly focus on home-based HIV testing. This study evaluates the effect of a gift (a US$5 food voucher for families) on consent rates for home-based HIV testing.

METHODS:

We use data on 18 478 individuals (6 418 men and 12 060 women) who were successfully contacted to participate in the 2009 and 2010 population-based HIV surveillance carried out by the Wellcome Trust's Africa Health Research Institute in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Of 18 478 potential participants contacted in both years, 35% (6 518) consented to test in 2009, and 41% (7 533) consented to test in 2010. Our quasi-experimental difference-in-differences approach controls for unobserved confounding in estimating the causal effect of the intervention on HIV-testing consent rates.

RESULTS:

Allocation of the gift to a family in 2010 increased the probability of family members consenting to test in the same year by 25 percentage points [95% confidence interval (CI) 21-30 percentage points; P  < 0.001]. The intervention effect persisted, slightly attenuated, in the year following the intervention (2011).

CONCLUSIONS:

In HIV hyperendemic settings, a gift can be highly effective at increasing consent rates for home-based HIV testing. Given the importance of HIV testing for treatment uptake and individual health, as well as for HIV treatment-as-prevention strategies and for monitoring the population impact of the HIV response, gifts should be considered as a supportive intervention for HIV-testing initiatives where consent rates have been low.

KEYWORDS:

difference-in-differences (DD) analysis; gift-voucher intervention; home-based HIV testing; rural South Africa

Zhang L, Shah IH, Li X, Zhou Y, Zhang C, Zhang L, Zhang X, Cui Y, Xu J. Does the use of HIV testing and counseling services influence condom use among low-paid female sex workers in Guangxi, China?. AIDS Care [Internet]. 2016;29 (3). Publisher's VersionAbstract

HIV testing and counseling (HTC) are increasingly used in China during routine medical care visits to health facilities. However, limited data are available regarding the association between the utilization of HTC services and condom use among low-paid female sex workers (FSWs) who are at high risk of HIV infection but are hard to reach. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 794 low-paid FSWs in a city of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in 2011. Results showed that 71.7% of low-paid FSWs had utilized HTC services in the previous year and 65.7% reported having used a condom during the last sexual intercourse with their clients. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that utilizing HTC services was significantly and positively associated with the condom use. It also indicated that low-paid FSWs who were older, married, had higher education, earned less money, had high number of clients, had a history of sexually transmitted diseases, or had little or no HIV knowledge were less likely to use a condom during the last sexual encounter. The study suggests that HTC services need to be scaled up and made more accessible for this vulnerable population.

KEYWORDS: HIV testing and counseling (HTC)female sex workercondom useChina

Canning D, Shah IH, Pearson E, Pradhan E, Karra M, Senderowicz L, Barnighausen T, Spiegelman D, Langer A. Institutionalizing postpartum intrauterine device (IUD) services in Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Nepal: study protocol for a cluster-randomized stepped-wedge trial. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth [Internet]. 2016;16 (362). Publisher's VersionAbstract

BACKGROUND:

During the year following the birth of a child, 40% of women are estimated to have an unmet need for contraception. The copper IUD provides safe, effective, convenient, and long-term contraceptive protection that does not interfere with breastfeeding during the postpartum period. Postpartum IUD (PPIUD) insertion should be performed by a trained provider in the early postpartum period to reduce expulsion rates and complications, but these services are not widely available. The International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (FIGO) will implement an intervention that aims to institutionalize PPIUD training as a regular part of the OB/GYN training program and to integrate it as part of the standard practice at the time of delivery in intervention hospitals.

METHODS:

This trial uses a cluster-randomized stepped wedge design to assess the causal effect of the FIGO intervention on the uptake and continued use of PPIUD and of the effect on subsequent pregnancy and birth. This trial also seeks to measure institutionalization of PPIUD services in study hospitals and diffusion of these services to other providers and health facilities. This study will also include a nested mixed-methods performance evaluation to describe intervention implementation.

DISCUSSION:

This study will provide critical evidence on the causal effects of hospital-based PPIUD provision on contraceptive choices and reproductive health outcomes, as well as on the feasibility, acceptability and longer run institutional impacts in three low- and middle-income countries.

Pearson E, Andersen KL, Biswas K, Chowdhury R, Sherman SG, Decker MR. Intimate partner violence and constraints to reproductive autonomy and reproductive health among women seeking abortion services in Bangladesh. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics [Internet]. 2016;136 (3). Publisher's VersionAbstract

Objective

To understand intersections between intimate partner violence (IPV) and other constraints to women's reproductive autonomy, and the influence of IPV on reproductive health.

Methods

A secondary analysis examined cross-sectional data from a facility-based sample of women seeking abortion care (for spontaneous or induced abortion) between March 1 and October 31, 2013. Women aged 18–49 years, who received abortion services and selected a short-acting contraceptive method or no contraception completed an interviewer-administered survey after treatment. Adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) were calculated for associations between IPV experience and potential constraints to reproductive autonomy and health outcomes.

Results

There were 457 participants included in the present analysis and 118 (25.8%) had experienced IPV in the preceding year. IPV was associated with discordance in fertility intentions with husbands/partners and in-laws, with in-law opposition to contraception, with perceived religious prohibition of contraception, and with presenting unaccompanied (all P<0.05). IPV was also associated with receiving post-abortion care after an induced abortion compared with accessing legal menstrual regulation, and with the use of medication abortion compared with manual vacuum aspiration (both P<0.05).

Conclusion

Intimate partner violence was associated with additional constraints on reproductive autonomy from husbands/partners, in-laws, and religious communities. Seeking induced abortion unaccompanied and using medication abortion could be strategies to access abortion covertly among women experiencing IPV. Ensuring women's reproductive freedom requires addressing IPV and related constraints.

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