The effect of improved access to family planning on postpartum women: protocol for a randomized controlled trial
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Citation (published version)Mahesh Karra, David Canning. 2020. "The Effect of Improved Access to Family Planning on Postpartum Women: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial.." JMIR Res Protoc, Volume 9, Issue 8, pp. e16697 - ?. https://doi.org/10.2196/16697
BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization recommends that a woman waits at least 24 months after a live birth before getting pregnant again; however, an estimated 25% of birth intervals in low-income countries do not meet this recommendation for adequate birth spacing, and the unmet need for postpartum family planning (PPFP) services is high. Few randomized controlled trials have assessed the causal impact of access to PPFP services, and even fewer evaluations have investigated how such interventions may affect postpartum contraceptive use, birth spacing, and measures of health and well-being. OBJECTIVE: This protocol paper aims to describe a randomized controlled trial that is being conducted to identify the causal impact of an intervention to improve access to PPFP services on contraceptive use, pregnancy, and birth spacing in urban Malawi. The causal effect of the intervention will be determined by comparing outcomes for respondents who are randomly assigned to an intervention arm against outcomes for respondents who are randomly assigned to a control arm. METHODS: Married women aged 18-35 years who were either pregnant or had recently given birth were randomly assigned to either the intervention arm or control arm. Women assigned to the intervention arm received a package of services over a 2-year intervention period. Services included a brochure and up to 6 home visits from trained family planning counselors; free transportation to a high-quality family planning clinic; and financial reimbursement for family planning services, consultations, and referrals for services. Two follow-up surveys were conducted 1 and 2 years after the baseline survey. RESULTS: A total of 2143 women were randomly assigned to either the intervention arm (n=1026) or the control arm (n=1117). Data collection for the first follow-up survey began in August 2017 and was completed in February 2018. A total of 1773 women, or 82.73% of women who were eligible for follow-up, were successfully contacted and reinterviewed at the first follow-up. Data collection for the second follow-up survey began in August 2018 and was completed in February 2019. A total of 1669 women, or 77.88% of women who were eligible for follow-up, were successfully contacted and reinterviewed at the second follow-up. The analysis of the primary outcomes is ongoing and is expected to be completed in 2021. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this trial seek to fill the current knowledge gaps in the effectiveness of family planning interventions on improving fertility and health outcomes. The findings also show that the benefits of improving access to family planning are likely to extend beyond the fertility and health domain by improving other measures of women's well-being. TRIAL REGISTRATION: American Economics Association Registry Trial Number AEARCTR-0000697; https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/697 Registry for International Development Impact Evaluations (RIDIE) Trial Number RIDIE-STUDY-ID-556784ed86956; https://ridie.3ieimpact.org/index.php?r=search/detailView&id=320. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/16697.
RightsCopyright © Mahesh Karra, David Canning. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (http://www.researchprotocols.org), 14.08.2020. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.