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TitleTelemedicine for Family Planning: A Scoping Review.
AuthorsThompson, TA; Sonalkar, S; Butler, JL; Grossman, D
JournalObstetrics and gynecology clinics of North America
Publication Date1 Jun 2020
Date Added to PubMed27 May 2020
AbstractTelemedicine has the potential to increase access to family planning. The most common application involved the use of text message reminders and mobile apps. Text messaging increased knowledge in a variety of settings, but had no effect on contraceptive uptake and use. Two randomized studies found that text messaging improved continuation of oral contraceptives and injectables. Telemedicine provision of medication abortion included both clinic-to-clinic and direct-to-patient models of care. Telemedicine provision of medication abortion has been found to be equally safe and effective as in-person provision. Some measures of satisfaction are higher with telemedicine. Telemedicine may improve access to early abortion.
TitleAddition of mHealth (mobile health) for family planning support in Kenya: disparities in access to mobile phones and associations with contraceptive knowledge and use.
AuthorsLee, S; Begley, CE; Morgan, R; Chan, W; Kim, SY
JournalInternational health
Publication Date13 Nov 2019
Date Added to PubMed24 Dec 2018
AbstractRecently mobile health (mHealth) has been implemented in Kenya to support family planning. Our objectives were to investigate disparities in mobile phone ownership and to examine the associations between exposure to family planning messages through mHealth (stand-alone or combined with other channels such as public forums, informational materials, health workers, social media and political/religious/community leaders' advocacy) and contraceptive knowledge and use. Logistic and Poisson regression models were used to analyze the 2014 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey. Among 31 059 women, 86.7% had mobile phones and were more likely to have received higher education, have children ≤5 y of age and tended to be wealthier or married. Among 7397 women who were sexually active, owned a mobile phone and received family planning messages through at least one channel, 89.8% had no exposure to mHealth. mHealth alone was limited in improving contraceptive knowledge and use but led to intended outcomes when used together with four other channels compared with other channels only (knowledge: incidence rate ratio 1.084 [95% confidence interval {CI} 1.063-1.106]; use: odds ratio 1.429 [95% CI 1.026-1.989]). Socio-economic disparities existed in mobile phone ownership, and mHealth alone did not improve contraceptive knowledge and use among Kenyan women. However, mHealth still has potential for family planning when used with existing channels.
TitleEngaging men in an mHealth approach to support postpartum family planning among couples in Kenya: a qualitative study.
AuthorsHarrington, EK; McCoy, EE; Drake, AL; Matemo, D; John-Stewart, G; Kinuthia, J; Unger, JA
JournalReproductive health
Publication Date11 Feb 2019
Date Added to PubMed13 Feb 2019
AbstractInvolving male partners in family planning (FP) education and counseling may improve FP utilization and help meet couples' reproductive health needs in the postpartum period. We aimed to explore Kenyan men's and women's perspectives on an interactive short message service (SMS) approach to support postpartum FP decision-making, and inform intervention content for a randomized controlled trial (RCT). We conducted four focus group discussions (FGD) among men (n = 35) and two among pregnant/postpartum women (n = 15) in western Kenya. Female participants were recruited at antenatal clinics; male participants were referred by antenatal attendees. FGDs included participant critique of pilot theory-based SMS messages. FGD transcripts were coded by two investigators and analyzed using an iterative, modified grounded theory approach. These data informed the intervention and RCT design, in which women had the option to refer male partners for trial enrollment. Men strongly desired inclusion in FP programs, and frequently discussed negative relationship consequences of women's covert contraceptive use. Female and male participants voiced a variety of concerns about contraceptive side effects and potential harms, which were central to narratives of community influence on personal contraceptive choices. Most participants felt that receiving FP-focused SMS and including men would be beneficial. They perceived that SMS dialogue with a nurse about FP could reduce misperceptions and may stimulate communication within couples, thereby improving contraceptive access and continuation. Shared decision-making around FP within couple relationships, in consultation with clinicians, was highly valued. Health concerns about FP and limited couple communication are perceived contributors to postpartum unmet contraceptive need. With women's consent, the inclusion of male partners in FP services, and specifically in an mHealth SMS intervention, is acceptable and desired. Receiving SMS may trigger communication about postpartum FP within couples. SMS content should address contraceptive knowledge gaps, anticipated side effects and FP misperceptions, and allow for real-time method choice assistance.
TitleA randomized controlled trial of the impact of a family planning mHealth service on knowledge and use of contraception.
AuthorsJohnson, D; Juras, R; Riley, P; Chatterji, M; Sloane, P; Choi, SK; Johns, B
Publication Date1 Jan 2017
Date Added to PubMed17 Jul 2016
AbstractmHealth, or the use of mobile phones for health, is a promising but largely untested method for increasing family planning knowledge in developing countries. This study estimates the effect of m4RH, an mHealth service in Kenya that provides family planning information via text message, on consumers' knowledge and use of contraception. We randomly assigned new consumers of the m4RH service to receive either full access or limited access to m4RH. We collected data on outcomes by sending questions directly to consumers via text message. Response rates to the text message surveys ranged from 51.8% to 13.5%. Despite relatively low response rates, response rates were very similar across the full-access and limited-access groups. We find that full access to m4RH increased consumers' scores on a test of contraceptive knowledge by 14% (95% confidence interval: 9.9%-18.2%) compared to a control group with limited access to m4RH. m4RH did not increase consumers' use of contraception, likelihood of discussing family planning with their partners, or likelihood of visiting a clinic to discuss family planning. Text messages may increase family planning knowledge but do not, by themselves, lead to behavior change. Text messages can be an effective method of increasing family planning knowledge but may be insufficient on their own to cause behavior change.
TitleFamily planning and abortion services in COVID 19 pandemic.
AuthorsSharma, KA; Zangmo, R; Kumari, A; Roy, KK; Bharti, J
JournalTaiwanese journal of obstetrics & gynecology
Publication Date1 Nov 2020
Date Added to PubMed22 Nov 2020
AbstractMany routine and elective services have already been postponed or suspended by both Government and private setups in most parts of the world because of the unprecedented pandemic of COVID-19. Healthcare systems everywhere in the world are under pressure. Being a component of essential health services, family planning and abortion services should continue to cater the population in order to prevent the complications arising from unintended pregnancies and sudden rise in STIs. Due to airborne nature of transmission of the virus, it is advisable for all consultations relating to family planning services to be done remotely unless and until visit is absolutely necessary. Contraception initiation and continuation can be done by telemedicine in most individuals. Post partum contraception can be advised before discharge from hospital. In an individual planning for pregnancy, currently it is not advisable to discontinue contraceptive and plan for pregnancy as not much is known about the effect of the virus on foetal development. Also, pregnancy requires routine antenatal and peripartum care and complications arising from pregnancy may necessitate frequent hospital visits, exposing the individual to the risk of infection. Abortion services are time sensitive therefore should not be denied or delayed beyond legal limit. We need to change from real to virtual consultation to prevent the rise in unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and unsafe abortions.
TitleTelemedicine for contraceptive counseling: An exploratory survey of US family planning providers following rapid adoption of services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
AuthorsStifani, BM; Avila, K; Levi, EE
Publication Date17 Nov 2020
Date Added to PubMed20 Nov 2020
AbstractDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, many clinicians started offering telemedicine services. The objective of this study is to describe the experience of US family planning providers with the rapid adoption of telemedicine for contraceptive counseling during this period. This is a cross-sectional web-based survey of family planning providers practicing in the United States. A total of 172 providers completed the survey (34% response rate). Of these, 156 (91%) provided telemedicine services in the 2 months preceding the survey. Most (78%) were new to telemedicine. About half (54%) referred less than a quarter of contraception patients for in-person visits, and 53% stated that the most common referral reason was long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) insertion. A majority of providers strongly agree that telemedicine visits are an effective way to provide contraceptive counseling (80%), and that this service should be expanded after the pandemic (84%). If asked to provide telemedicine visits after the pandemic, 64% of providers would be very happy about it. Many providers used personal phones or smartphones to conduct telemedicine visits but stated that ideal devices would be work-issued computers, tablets, or phones. More than half (59%) of providers prefer video over phone visits. Family planning clinicians in the United States reported a positive experience with telemedicine for contraceptive counseling during the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic and believe that this service should be expanded. Clinicians seem to prefer using work-issued devices and conducting video rather than phone visits. Telemedicine is a promising option for providing contraceptive counseling even beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. An investment in hospital or clinic-issued devices that allow for video conferencing may optimize clinicians' telemedicine experience.
TitleDeveloping a Digital Marketplace for Family Planning: Pilot Randomized Encouragement Trial.
AuthorsGreen, EP; Augustine, A; Naanyu, V; Hess, AK; Kiwinda, L
JournalJournal of medical Internet research
Publication Date31 Jul 2018
Date Added to PubMed2 Aug 2018
AbstractFamily planning is an effective tool for preventing death among women who do not want to become pregnant and has been shown to improve newborn health outcomes, advance women's empowerment, and bring socioeconomic benefits through reductions in fertility and population growth. Yet among the populations that would benefit the most from family planning, uptake remains too low. The emergence of digital health tools has created new opportunities to strengthen health systems and promote behavior change. In this study, women with an unmet need for family planning in Western Kenya were randomized to receive an encouragement to try an automated investigational digital health intervention that promoted the uptake of family planning. The objectives of the pilot study were to explore the feasibility of a full-scale trial-in particular, the recruitment, encouragement, and follow-up data collection procedures-and to examine the preliminary effect of the intervention on contraception uptake. This pilot study tested the procedures for a randomized encouragement trial. We recruited 112 women with an unmet need for family planning from local markets in Western Kenya, conducted an eligibility screening, and randomized half of the women to receive an encouragement to try the investigational intervention. Four months after encouraging the treatment group, we conducted a follow-up survey with enrolled participants via short message service (SMS) text message. The encouragement sent via SMS text messages to the treatment group led to differential rates of intervention uptake between the treatment and control groups; however, uptake by the treatment group was lower than anticipated (19/56, 33.9% vs 1/56, 1.8%, in the control group). Study attrition was also substantial. We obtained follow-up data from 44.6% (50/112) of enrolled participants. Among those in the treatment group who tried the intervention, the instrumental variables estimate of the local average treatment effect was an increase in the probability of contraceptive uptake of 41.0 percentage points (95% uncertainty interval -0.03 to 0.85). This randomized encouragement design and study protocol is feasible but requires modifications to the recruitment, encouragement, and follow-up data collection procedures. NCT03224390; (Archived by WebCite at
TitleAcceptability, feasibility and utility of a Mobile health family planning decision aid for postpartum women in Kenya.
AuthorsDev, R; Woods, NF; Unger, JA; Kinuthia, J; Matemo, D; Farid, S; Begnel, ER; Kohler, P; Drake, AL
JournalReproductive health
Publication Date8 Jul 2019
Date Added to PubMed10 Jul 2019
AbstractUnmet need for contraception is high during the postpartum period, increasing the risk of unintended subsequent pregnancy. We developed a client facing mobile phone-based family planning (FP) decision aid and assessed acceptability, feasibility, and utility of the tool among health care providers and postpartum women. Semi-structured in-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted among postpartum women (n = 25) and FP providers (n = 17) at 4 Kenyan maternal and child health clinics, 2 in the Nyanza region (Kisumu and Siaya Counties) and 2 in Nairobi. Stratified purposive sampling was used to enroll postpartum women and FP providers. Data were analyzed using an inductive content analysis approach by 3 independent coders, with consensual validation. FP providers stated that the Interactive Mobile Application for Contraceptive Choice (iMACC) tool contained the necessary information about contraceptive methods for postpartum women and believed that it would be a useful tool to help women make informed, voluntary decisions. Most women valued the decision aid content, and described it as being useful in helping to dispel myths and misconceptions, setting realistic expectations about potential side effects and maintaining confidentiality. Both women and providers expressed concerns about literacy and lack of familiarity with smart phones or tablets and suggested inclusion of interactive multimedia such as audio or videos to optimize the effectiveness of the tool. The iMACC decision aid was perceived to be an acceptable tool to deliver client-centered FP counseling by both women and providers. Counseling tools that can support FP providers to help postpartum women make informed and individualized FP decisions in resource-limited settings may help improve FP counseling and contraceptive use in the postpartum period.
TitleEnhancing the Knowledge and Behaviors of Fieldworkers to Promote Family Planning and Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health in Bangladesh Through a Digital Health Training Package: Results From a Pilot Study.
AuthorsJ Limaye, R; Ballard Sara, A; Ahmed, N; Ohkbuo, S; Deka, S; Mickish Gross, C; Arnold, R
JournalInternational quarterly of community health education
Publication Date1 Jan 2020
Date Added to PubMed6 Jul 2019
TitleMobile Technology for Improved Family Planning (MOTIF): the development of a mobile phone-based (mHealth) intervention to support post-abortion family planning (PAFP) in Cambodia.
AuthorsSmith, C; Vannak, U; Sokhey, L; Ngo, TD; Gold, J; Free, C
JournalReproductive health
Publication Date5 Jan 2016
Date Added to PubMed6 Jan 2016
AbstractThe objective of this paper is to outline the formative research process used to develop the MOTIF mobile phone-based (mHealth) intervention to support post-abortion family planning in Cambodia. The formative research process involved literature reviews, interviews and focus group discussions with clients, and consultation with clinicians and organisations implementing mHealth activities in Cambodia. This process led to the development of a conceptual framework and the intervention. Key findings from the formative research included identification of the main reasons for non-use of contraception and patterns of mobile phone use in Cambodia. We drew on components of existing interventions and behaviour change theory to develop a conceptual framework. A multi-faceted voice-based intervention was designed to address health concerns and other key determinants of contraception use. Formative research was essential in order to develop an appropriate mHealth intervention to support post-abortion contraception in Cambodia. Each component of the formative research contributed to the final intervention design.
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