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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Couple based family planning education: changes in male involvement and contraceptive use among married couples in Jimma Zone, Ethiopia

Zeitschrift:
BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Autoren:
Tizta Tilahun, Gily Coene, Marleen Temmerman, Olivier Degomme
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

There was no fund for publication of this manuscript and no patents relate to the content of the manuscript. We have no financial or non-financial competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

Conceived and designed the protocol: TT GC MT. Performed the data collection and the quasi experiment: TT GC MT. Contributed for data analysis and wrote the paper: TT OD and GC. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Abstract

Background

Family planning contributes substantially in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Recently, male involvement has gained considerable attention in family planning programs but the implementation thereof remains a challenge. In that context, our study aimed at measuring the effect of a six-month-long family planning education program on male involvement in family planning, as well as on couples’ contraceptive practice.

Methods

We conducted a quasi-experimental research among 811 married couples in Jimma Zone, southwest Ethiopia. Our study consisted of an intervention and a control group for comparative purpose; and surveyed before and after the implementation of the intervention. The intervention consisted of family planning education, given to both men and women at the household level in the intervention arm, in addition to monthly community gatherings. During the intervention period, households in the control group were not subject to particular activities but had access to routine health care services.

Results

We obtained follow-up data from 760 out of 786 (96.7 %) couples who were originally enrolled in the survey. Findings were compared within and between groups before and after intervention surveys. At the baseline, contraceptive use in both control and intervention households were similar. After the intervention, we observed among men in the intervention arm a significantly higher level of willingness to be actively involved in family planning compared to the men in the control arm (p < 0.001). In addition, the difference between spouses that discussed family planning issues was less reported within the control group, both in the case of men and women ((p = 0.031) and (p < 0.001)) respectively. In general, a significant, positive difference in male involvement was observed. Concerning contraceptive use, there was change observed among the intervention group who were not using contraception at baseline.

Conclusions

This study showed that family planning educational intervention, which includes both spouses and promotes spousal communication, might be useful to foster contraceptive practice among couples. The results also offer practical information on the benefits of male involvement in family planning as a best means to increase contraceptive use. Thus, providing opportunities to reinforce family planning education may strengthen the existing family planning service delivery system.
Literatur
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