Does discussion of family planning improve knowlegde of partner's attitude toward contraceptives?

Laurie F. DeRose, Francis Dodoo, Alex C. Ezeh, Tom O. Owuor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


CONTEXT: Results from an analysis of 1998 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from Kenya, where the approval rate of family planning is 90%, have cast doubt on the assumption that spousal discussion improves knowledge of partner's attitude toward family planning. However, it is not known whether this finding also applies to contexts more typical of Sub-Saharan Africa, where approval is not as high. METHODS: DHS data from 21 Sub-Saharan African countries were used to assess the relationship between spousal discussion and correct reporting of partner's attitude toward family planning. Multivariate analyses of data from Chad were conducted to further examine this relationship in a setting where contraceptive approval was not high. RESULTS: In every country, the proportion of women correctly reporting their spouse's disapproval of contraception was smaller among those who had discussed family planning with their husband than among those who had never done so. However, in an analysis of Chad data that included women who did not know their husband's attitude toward contraception, proportions of women correctly citing their husband's attitude were larger if discussion had occurred than if it had not, regardless of the husband's actual approval status. In multivariate analyses of Chad data that controlled for women's demographic characteristics, discussion was positively associated with correct reporting of husband's approval, but negatively associated with correct reporting of his disapproval. CONCLUSIONS: Partner discussion does not necessarily mean an increase in knowledge of a partner's contraceptive attitudes. Therefore, anticipated reductions in unmet need for contraception through improvements in spousal discussion may be overstated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-93
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Family Planning Perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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