Improving provider and client communication around family planning in Togo: Results from a cross-sectional survey

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Previous research has shown that clients are better able to achieve their reproductive intentions when family planning (FP) services meet their needs and they have satisfying client provider interactions. There are several areas of quality provider-client communication, including providers taking a complete reproductive history of their clients to best gauge their needs, communication around alternative FP methods and side effects captured in the method information index, and communication around sexually transmitted infections and HIV risk as it relates to FP choices. This study examines data from a clinic-based intervention in Togo that focuses on strengthening health provider counseling related to FP, including improving in these three areas of provider-client communication. A clustered sampling approach was used to select 650 FP clients from 23 intervention facilities and 235 clients from 17 control facilities in the Lomé and Kara districts of Togo. The FP clients’ interactions with providers were observed and clients exit interviews were conducted in December 2021. For each communication area measured through client interviews and observations, principal components analysis and Cronbach’s alpha scores were used to ensure that the individual components could be indexed. Outcomes variables based on an index of sub-questions were then created for those who had fulfilled each of the components within an index. Multivariate multilevel mixed-effects logit models accounted for clients nested within facilities and included independent variables capturing client demographic and facility variables. Multivariate results show that all three outcome variables representing the three provider-client communication areas were statistically significantly better for FP clients in intervention clinics versus control clinics (p < 0.05). The results speak to the emphasis that the Togo Ministry of Health has placed on building the provider capacity to provide quality counseling and administration of FP methods and working to assist in achieving health programming goals through well-designed interventions.


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