Validity of the retrospective reproductive calendar instrument in developing countries: Findings from a prospective and longitudinal study
Awarded 2014
Small Research Grants
Katherine Tumlinson, MA
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Family planning has been shown to save the lives of women and children living in developing countries, yet it is estimated that between one third and nearly half of all women in developing countries using modern reversible contraceptive methods discontinue their method within 12 months of initiation. The objective of this study is to investigate the validity of the retrospective reproductive calendar instrument using a random sample of women of reproductive age residing in central Kisumu, Kenya. In June 2015, we enrolled 1,218 study participants, 635 of which were randomized to a prospective study arm while the remaining 583 were randomly assigned to the retrospective arm. At baseline, all participants contributed information on their current contraceptive method as well as demographic information. Between August 2015 and June 2016, prospective participants were called at the end of each month to ascertain any changes in their contraceptive behavior. Retrospective participants were visited in June 2016 and asked to recall their contraceptive behavior over the prior 12 months. Approximately 70% of all participants were retained for the entire study duration. Data collection was completed by June 30, 2016 and data cleaning and analysis are on-going. Additionally, qualitative interviews conducted with 20 public and private health care providers (nurses and medical officers) in select urban areas of Kenya indicate several negative provider practices – such a bribery, absenteeism, and verbal abuse – are common practice in Kenyan health care facilities.