Validation of the Interpersonal Quality of Family Planning Scale in a rural Indian setting

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Objectives: The provision of high-quality family planning (FP) counseling can both enhance clients' experience of care and improve their ability to make and act on their contraceptive decisions. The Interpersonal Quality of Family Planning (IQFP) scale measures FP counseling quality and has been validated in the United States. We aimed to explore whether it remains appropriate for use in a low-/middle-income country (LMIC). Study design: We surveyed 1201 nonsterilized married women ages 18–29 in Maharashtra, India, between September 2018 and June 2019. Respondents rated their FP provider from “poor” (1) to “excellent” (5) across 11 IQFP items. We assessed scale reliability via Cronbach's α test and used exploratory factor analysis to evaluate unidimensionality and regression models of plausibly related outcomes to assess construct validity. Results: Five hundred four women (42%) had seen an FP provider within the past year, 491 (97%) of whom answered all items. Mean IQFP score was 2.62 out of 5 (SD 0.94, range 1–5). Scale reliability was high (α = 0.97). Exploratory factor analyses support unidimensionality (all factor loadings > 0.4). A 1-point increase in average IQFP score was associated with nearly double the odds of current modern contraceptive use (adjusted odds ratio = 1.73, 95% confidence interval = 1.36–2.19). Conclusions: The IQFP scale shows good reliability and construct validity in this context, and its use in LMIC settings should be broadly considered. A higher IQFP score was associated with greater odds of contraceptive use. The reported FP counseling quality was low, so future public health efforts should aim to increase counseling quality to better meet the needs of women in low-resource settings like rural India. Measurement tools like IQFP can support success evaluation of the quality of care provided by family planning programs. Implications: The Interpersonal Quality of Family Planning scale is a useful tool in rural India, a different context than the one in which it was developed. Use of the IQFP scale should be considered in other low-/middle-income countries to better measure the quality of family planning care provided.