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      Structured and sustained family planning support facilitates effective use of postpartum contraception amongst women living with HIV in South Western Uganda: A randomized controlled trial

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          Despite low pregnancy intentions, many women accessing contraception discontinue use, increasing the risk of unwanted pregnancies among women living with HIV (WLWH). We evaluate whether a family planning support intervention, inclusive of structured immediate one-on-one postpartum counseling, and a follow-up mechanism through additional health information and SMS reminders affects continuous contraceptive use and pregnancy incidence among recently postpartum WLWH.


          We performed a randomized controlled trial between October 2016 and June 2018 at a referral hospital in southwestern Uganda. We included adult WLWH randomized and enrolled in a 1:1 ratio to receive family planning support or standard of care (control) and completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire at enrolment, 6 and 12 months postpartum. Our two primary outcomes of interest were; continuous use of contraception, and incidence of pregnancy. Secondary outcomes included contraception uptake, method change, discontinuation and pregnancy intentions. The trial was registered with clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02964169).


          A total of 317(99%) completed all study procedures. Mean age was 29.6 (SD = 6.0) vs 30.0 (SD = 5.9) years for the intervention vs control groups respectively. All women were enrolled on ART. Total women using contraception continuously were 126 (79.8%) in the intervention compared to 110 (69.2%) in control group (odds ratio (OR) = 1.75; confidence interval (CI) = 1.24-2.75, P = 0.003). Pregnancy rates were 2% (N = 3) in the intervention vs 9% (N = 14) in the control group (OR = 0.20, 95% CI = 0.05-0.62, P = 0.006). Pregnancy intention was lower in the intervention vs control group (OR = 0.23, 95% CI = 0.08-0.64, P = 0.002). Women actively enrolled on contraception reduced more in the control compared to the intervention group (OR = 3.92, 95% CI = 1.66-9.77, P = 0.001). Women enrolled on each contraceptive method did not differ by group except for implants. More women initiating contraception use within three months postpartum had better continued use for either intervention (N = 123, 97.6% vs N = 3,2.4%) or control group (N = 86,78.2% vs N = 24,21.8%). Method-related side effects were less reported in the intervention group (OR = 0.25, 95% CI = 0.10-0.60, P = 0.001).


          We found that sustained and structured family planning support facilitates continuous use of contraception and lowers rates of pregnancy amongst postpartum WLWH in rural southwestern Uganda. Women who initiated contraception within three months postpartum were more likely to maintain continuous use of contraception than those initiating later. Further evaluation of actual and perceived facilitators to the continuous contraception use by this support intervention will help replication in similar settings.

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          Most cited references 46

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          Family planning: the unfinished agenda.

          Promotion of family planning in countries with high birth rates has the potential to reduce poverty and hunger and avert 32% of all maternal deaths and nearly 10% of childhood deaths. It would also contribute substantially to women's empowerment, achievement of universal primary schooling, and long-term environmental sustainability. In the past 40 years, family-planning programmes have played a major part in raising the prevalence of contraceptive practice from less than 10% to 60% and reducing fertility in developing countries from six to about three births per woman. However, in half the 75 larger low-income and lower-middle income countries (mainly in Africa), contraceptive practice remains low and fertility, population growth, and unmet need for family planning are high. The cross-cutting contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals makes greater investment in family planning in these countries compelling. Despite the size of this unfinished agenda, international funding and promotion of family planning has waned in the past decade. A revitalisation of the agenda is urgently needed. Historically, the USA has taken the lead but other governments or agencies are now needed as champions. Based on the sizeable experience of past decades, the key features of effective programmes are clearly established. Most governments of poor countries already have appropriate population and family-planning policies but are receiving too little international encouragement and funding to implement them with vigour. What is currently missing is political willingness to incorporate family planning into the development arena.
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            The Duke-UNC Functional Social Support Questionnaire. Measurement of social support in family medicine patients.

            A 14-item, self-administered, multidimensional, functional social support questionnaire was designed and evaluated on 401 patients attending a family medicine clinic. Patients were selected from randomized time-frame sampling blocks during regular office hours. The population was predominantly white, female, married, and under age 45. Eleven items remained after test-retest reliability was assessed over a 1- to 4-week follow-up period. Factor analysis and item remainder analysis reduced the remaining 11 items to a brief and easy-to-complete two-scale, eight-item functional social support instrument. Construct validity, concurrent validity, and discriminant validity are demonstrated for the two scales (confidant support--five items and affective support--three items). Factor analysis and correlations with other measures of social support suggest that the three remaining items (visits, instrumental support, and praise) are distinct entities that may need further study.
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              The AUDIT alcohol consumption questions (AUDIT-C): an effective brief screening test for problem drinking. Ambulatory Care Quality Improvement Project (ACQUIP). Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test.

               K Bush,  D R Kivlahan,  S Fihn (1998)
              To evaluate the 3 alcohol consumption questions from the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C) as a brief screening test for heavy drinking and/or active alcohol abuse or dependence. Patients from 3 Veterans Affairs general medical clinics were mailed questionnaires. A random, weighted sample of Health History Questionnaire respondents, who had 5 or more drinks over the past year, were eligible for telephone interviews (N = 447). Heavy drinkers were oversampled 2:1. Patients were excluded if they could not be contacted by telephone, were too ill for interviews, or were female (n = 54). Areas under receiver operating characteristic curves (AUROCs) were used to compare mailed alcohol screening questionnaires (AUDIT-C and full AUDIT) with 3 comparison standards based on telephone interviews: (1) past year heavy drinking (>14 drinks/week or > or =5 drinks/ occasion); (2) active alcohol abuse or dependence according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Revised Third Edition, criteria; and (3) either. Of 393 eligible patients, 243 (62%) completed AUDIT-C and interviews. For detecting heavy drinking, AUDIT-C had a higher AUROC than the full AUDIT (0.891 vs 0.881; P = .03). Although the full AUDIT performed better than AUDIT-C for detecting active alcohol abuse or dependence (0.811 vs 0.786; P<.001), the 2 questionnaires performed similarly for detecting heavy drinking and/or active abuse or dependence (0.880 vs 0.881). Three questions about alcohol consumption (AUDIT-C) appear to be a practical, valid primary care screening test for heavy drinking and/or active alcohol abuse or dependence.

                Author and article information

                J Glob Health
                J Glob Health
                Journal of Global Health
                International Society of Global Health
                05 June 2021
                : 11
                [1 ]Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara, Uganda
                [2 ]Simon Fraser University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Burnaby, Vancouver, Canada
                [3 ]University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence to:
Dr. Esther Cathyln Atukunda, PhD
Mbarara University of Science and Technology
P.O Box 1410
 eatukunda@ 123456must.ac.ug estheratukunda@ 123456gmail.com
                Copyright © 2021 by the Journal of Global Health. All rights reserved.

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, Equations: 0, References: 50, Pages: 14

                Public health


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