Quality of Family Planning Counseling in Ethiopia: Trends and determinants of information received by female modern contraceptive users, evidence from national survey data, (2014-2018)

G. Hrusa*, M. Spigt, T. Dejene, S. Shiferaw

*Corresponding author for this work

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BackgroundFamily planning counseling is critical for women to make informed reproductive and sexual health decisions. Despite Ethiopia's success in expanding access to family planning services, information on the quality of family planning counseling is limited. The objectives of this study were to assess whether the quality of counseling from the female client ' s perspective has changed over time (2014 to 2018) and to investigate determinants associated with the quality of counseling to provide a more nuanced understanding of disparities in sexual and reproductive health outcomes in Ethiopia.Methods Data were obtained from five rounds of the Ethiopian Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 female survey questionnaire. Quality of counseling was categorized into four levels based on the responses of the questions that compose the Method Information Index, a core Family Planning 2020 indicator that serves as a proxy for quality of counseling and reflects the extent to which women are informed about side effects and alternate methods. The proportion of female contraceptive users that received good counseling were examined over time by each region, demographic characteristics, and contraception method type and source. Ordinal logistic regression was applied to the last survey round (2018) to investigate determinants associated with counseling quality.ResultsThe proportion of female contraception users that reported receiving information on all three questions did not significantly change over the period 2014 to 2018. Overall quality of counseling on family planning was low, with only 30% of women reporting receiving sufficient information during counseling. The likelihood of good quality counseling was the least among those who had no formal schooling when compared to those who had higher educational attainment (OR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.50, 0.97). Women from the wealthiest quintile were 1.72 times more likely (95% CI: 1.10, 2.69) to receive good quality counseling when compared to women in the lower wealth quintile. Women from rural areas were 1.51 times more likely to have received good counseling when compared to those in urban areas (95% CI: 1.04, 2.18). Amhara residents were less likely to receive good counseling when compared to the SNNPR (OR: 0.51, 95% CI: 0.32, 0.81). Women who acquired their method from the private sector had worse counseling (OR: 0.31, 95% CI: 0.23, 0.41) when compared to the public sector. Those using short-acting methods were more at risk of receiving lesser quality counseling when compared to users of long-acting methods (OR: 0.58, 95% CI: 0.46, 0.72).ConclusionThe results of this analysis indicated that Ethiopia's overall progress in modern contraceptive use has not been accompanied by a corresponding increase in the quality of family planning counseling. Improving the quality of contraception counseling for women across all demographics, including wealth quintiles and education, is a crucial strategy to support positive reproductive health outcomes with a rights-based focus. Based on the findings of this study, it is essential to emphasize the need to do proper counseling for all methods including short-acting methods especially for those working the private sector and some of the regions which have lower prevalence of good counseling. Further community-based participatory and qualitative research should focus on understanding the root causes and barriers to the delivery of high-quality counseling in Ethiopia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0228714
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2020


  • addis-ababa
  • continuation
  • of-care

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