Aim The aim of this systematic review was to synthesise the evidence on the comparative effectiveness of different counselling strategies for modern contraception on contraceptive behaviour and satisfaction, and to examine their advantages and disadvantages.
Methods Six electronic databases (Medline, Embase, Global Health, Popline, CINAHL Plus, and Cochrane Library) were searched to identify publications comparing two or more contraceptive counselling strategies and reporting quantitative results on contraceptive use, uptake, continuation or switching, or client satisfaction. Studies of women or couples from any country, published in English since 1990 were considered.
Results A total of 63 publications corresponding to 61 studies met the inclusion criteria. There was substantial heterogeneity in study settings, interventions and outcome measures. Interventions targeting women initiating a method (including structured counselling on side effects) tended to show positive effects on contraceptive continuation. In contrast, the majority of studies of provider training and decision-making tools for method choice did not find evidence of an effect. Additional antenatal or postpartum counselling sessions were associated with increased postpartum contraceptive use, regardless of their timing in pregnancy or postpartum. Dedicated pre-abortion contraceptive counselling was associated with increased use only when accompanied by broader contraceptive method provision. Male partner or couples counselling was effective at increasing contraceptive use in two of five studies targeting non-users, women initiating implants or seeking abortion. High-quality evidence is lacking for the majority of intervention types.
Conclusions The evidence base and quality of studies are limited, and further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of many counselling interventions in different settings.
- RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL
- ACTING REVERSIBLE CONTRACEPTION
- DECISION-MAKING TOOL
- POSTABORTION CONTRACEPTION
- DISCONTINUATION RATES
- METHOD CHOICE