March 2014

Impact of family planning health talks by lay health workers on contraceptive knowledge and attitudes among HIV-infected patients in rural Kenya

Onono M, Blat C, Miles S, Steinfeld R, Wekesa P, Bukusi EA, Owuor K, Grossman D. Impact of family planning health talks by lay health workers on contraceptive knowledge and attitudes among HIV-infected patients in rural Kenya. Patient Education and Counseling. March 2014; 94(3) 438-41.

OBJECTIVE: To determine if a health talk on family planning (FP) by community clinic health assistants (CCHAs) will improve knowledge, attitudes and behavioral intentions about contraception in HIV-infected individuals.

METHODS: A 15-min FP health talk was given by CCHAs in six rural HIV clinics to a sample of 49 HIV-infected men and women. Effects of the health talk were assessed through a questionnaire administered before the health talk and after completion of the participant's clinic visit.

RESULTS: Following the health talk, there was a significant increase in knowledge about contraceptives (p<.0001), side-effects (p<.0001), and method-specific knowledge about IUCDs (p<.001), implants (p<.0001), and injectables (p<.05). Out of 31 women and 18 men enrolled, 14 (45%) women and 6 (33%) men intended to try a new contraceptive. Participant attitudes toward FP were high before and after the health talk (median 4 of 4).

CONCLUSION: A health talk delivered by CCHAs can increase knowledge of contraception and promote the intention to try new more effective contraception among HIV-infected individuals.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: FP health talks administered by lay-health providers to HIV-infected individuals as they wait for HIV services can influence FP knowledge and intention to use FP.