Client-provider interaction: Understanding client experience with family planning service providers through the mystery client approach in India

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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The benefits of employing a rights-based approach in family planning (FP) programmes have made the client’s rights to informed choices and quality care an essential part of any such programme. client-provider interaction is one of the critical components of the quality of care (QoC) framework of FP. While several studies have assessed QoC in FP services in India, very few have focused on the in-depth assessment of the interaction between the client and the provider during service delivery. The present study used the mystery client approach to assess the quality of interactions between clients and FP service providers in two of the most populous states of India: Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (UP). Findings highlighted that the providers spent very little time with the clients, gave them information on only one or two FP methods, and rarely talked about possible side-effects of the methods. Furthermore, the providers seemed hesitant to suggest any FP method other than condoms to newly married women. This study concluded that despite being a government priority, the quality of client-provider interaction in these two states was extremely poor.