Provider and Client Behavior and Behavioral Interventions
in Family Planning in the Philippines
Management Sciences for Health-
Local Enhancement and Development (LEAD)
for Health Project
By The Manoff Group, Inc.
Ma. Elena Chiong-Javier, Ph.D.
For several decades now, the family planning (FP) program in the Philippines has sought
to identify the factors that would enable health personnel to provide reproductive health
and contraceptive services to clients to the fullest extent possible. It also sought to
understand the factors that specifically impede clients from availing of contraceptive
methods and continuing contraceptive use. Program experiences and family planning
research or studies have revealed that certain aspects of provider practice pose a barrier to
clients’ extent of utilization and to the technical quality of care clients are entitled to. It is
therefore necessary to understand why provider-related problems exist to enhance service
provision. Moreover, important reasons underlying clients’ behavior and how these affect
FP service provision must likewise be understood in order for providers to respond better
to clients’ needs.
The findings extracted from researching on these issues are an essential groundwork for
FP interventions such as the Local Enhancement and Development (LEAD) for Health
Project that began in October 2003. This project is a three-year collaborative undertaking
between the Management Sciences for Health and its partners, on the one hand, and the
local government units (LGUs), the Department of Health (DOH), and other government
institutions, on the other hand. With funding from the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID), it seeks to strengthen and support local level policy
environment, financing, management, and provision of FP services and performance to
achieve contraceptive self- reliance, among other goals, in 530 municipalities and cities
Objective of the Literature Review
This literature review is part of The Manoff Group’s commitment (as a partner of the
Management Sciences for Health) to assist the LEAD for Health Project. It aims to
complete the preliminary work started by Dr. Laurie Krieger, Senio r Technical Advisor
for The Manoff Group, to annotate the issues on provider and client behaviors and
behavioral interventions related to family planning in the country. In line with this, the
overall objective of my literature review is twofold: (1) to annotate the more important
references reviewed, with regard to provider and client behavior and behavioral
interventions, and (2) to draw out the findings that have programmatic and research
implications for the LEAD project’s work of helping LGUs improve FP service provision
and performance, thereby increasing contraceptive acceptance and continuation in the
The reference materials included in the review were generally obtained from the
following sources: the Social Development Research Center and the Gender, Sexuality,
and Reproductive Health Databank/Library of De La Salle University-Manila, the
University of the Philippines Population Institute, Academy for Educational
Development-The Social Acceptant Project (TSAP) office, and the USAID-Development
Information Center. Other materials were sourced through Dr. Krieger and Ms. Yoko
Chiba (who was visiting the LEAD office) as well as the internet. A visit to the Office of
Population Studies at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City did not yield any useful
source. Although more materials were consulted for the review, only 25 have been
considered relevant and important for inclusion in this report.
The report is divided into two major sections. The first section briefly highlights the
major findings derived from the literature review and an analysis in terms of their
implications for program and research within the context of the LEAD project
framework. The second section contains 25 annotated references (on 20 different
studies) which are categorized into three types: (a) studies on provider-client interaction
and behavioral interventions, (b) provider-related studies, and (c) client-related studies.
Each category of annotated bibliography starts with a brief description of its contents.
I. FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS
A number of general observations can be made about the reference materials found for
this review. There is far greater interest in clients alone or their interaction with providers
(comprising almost 9 out of 10 materials) compared to providers alone or their interaction
with clients (about 6 out of 10 materials). In provider studies, interest has expanded in the
last decade to private sector health facilities that also provide FP services like clinics
managed by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the industry. Nonetheless,
provider-related studies are still mainly about health providers from the
public/government facilities and clinics.
Two behavioral interventions in client-provider interaction or FP counseling process
appear in the literature. One is the client-centered approach tried out in the Philippines in
2001 as part of a multi-country effort spearheaded by the Population Council. The other
is the Greet-Ask-Tell- Help-Explain- Return (GATHER) approach to FP counseling
designed and utilized by public and NGO health service e providers under the auspices of
such institutions as John Hopkins University Center for Communications Programs
(JHU-CCP), United Nations Population Fund, and EngenderHealth, among others. These
interventions have contributed some quantitative and qualitative assessment tools for
quality of care, such as the Quick Investigation of Quality (QIQ) Observation Tool and
Stakeholders’ Agenda and Matrix Tool adapted from JHU-CCP (Lamberte, et. al., 2004).
Of the 20 studies written up in the 25 materials reviewed, the most utilized methodology
is qualitative (8 of 20), followed by quantitative (7 of 20) and a combination of both
types (5 of 20). There is a resurgence of knowledge, attitudes, and pract ices (KAP)
studies in recent years, which are generally survey-oriented, to obtain baseline
information for the communication interventions being planned by the USAID-assisted
The Social Acceptance Study-Family Planning (TSAP-FP) Component of the Academy
for Educational Development.
In terms of research sites, the most studied island is Luzon (15 or two- fifths of its 38
provinces have been cited in the materials), followed by Visayas (4 or one-fourth of 16
provinces) and Mindanao (5 or one- fifth of 25 provinces). As expected, Metro Manila is a
frequent choice in Luzon, followed by Metro Cebu in Visayas and Metro Davao in
What Do We Know?
Training is not enough to archive major, consistent changes in quality of care.
An overwhelming majority of the Filipinos today understand the need for FP
but this understanding is not easily translated into practice. The 2004 Pulse
Asia Survey reported that 97% of the Filipinos consider it important to control
one’s fertility or to plan one’s family. Yet ironically, a good majority (65%; 2004
NFO Trends Survey) has been found to have ―little knowledge of FP or have
heard (of FP) but do not know anything about it.‖ And while the percentage of
claimed knowledge is high among those who are married/living- in, only a small
majority (less than three-fifths) in this group actually practices FP. But however
little is their knowledge about FP, a great majority (96-97%) of Filipinos have
heard of contraceptive methods, particularly condoms a nd pills, from close friends
or acquaintances, television, and health centers.
A significant proportion of providers and clients share similar “bicultural”
perspective, folk beliefs, and attitudes that are unfavorable to modern
contraceptive practice. Findings reveal that bicultural—i.e., biomedical and
humoral--views about the body and health govern not only the response of clients
to modern contraceptives but also the FP work of medical providers and
community health workers (Henry, 2001; TSAP-FP, n.d.). Biomedical knowledge
obtained through schooling/training clashes with humoral knowledge acquired
through cultural experiences. This is frequently seen in the meanings and
speculations given to contraceptive side effects such as the impact of the physical
manifestation of menstruation on health (e.g., amenorrhea from hormonal
methods causes high blood or tumors). So clients discontinue using pills and
injectables until menstruation returns; midwives advise the same and doctors do
not recommend injectables as a consequence. Current surveys also show that
many folk notions and attitudes often commonly held by clients and providers
pose barriers to contraceptive use or provision, such as believing that women who
experience ill health effects of contraceptive methods are not naturally suited
(hiyang) to such methods, or that IUD is easily misplaced, creates discomfort, or
may fall off (NFO Trends, January and April 2004; ACNielsen, 2003: TSAP-FP;
n.d.). Other barriers attitudes held by providers that may constitute a barrier to
effective FP service delivery include: some methods, particularly IUD, are
abortifacient (believed by a third of 750 doctors, nurses, and midwives recently
surveyed), or that a woman should have at least one child before taking pills.
The male spouse/partner continues to wield considerable influence on the
woman’s unmet need and contraceptive behavior. This fact was mentioned in
the three-decade old literature (Bailen and Morisky, 1974) and is repeatedly found
in many other references all the way to the present. The husband’s fertility
preferences, acceptance of FP, and his perceived health effects of contraception
are major reasons why women have an unmet need, or they do not practice FP
even if they do not want to get pregnant (Casterline, et. al., 1995). Certain studies
have advocated for the inclusion of men in fertility management because of their
strong pronatalist stance and prevailing dominant role within the Filipino culture
and home in spite of increasing women’s empowerment, and because their
cooperation is essential particularly in coital-dependent methods like condom,
withdrawal, and rhythm (Perez, 1997; Jocano, 1998; ACNielsen, 2003; Costello,
et. al., 2001). Other studies have indicated that women who talked about FP to
their spouses/partners and got the latter’s approval and encouragement were more
likely to accept and continue using modern contraceptives (Kinkaid, 2000; NFO
Trends, January and April 2004) while their choice of contraceptive method is
constrained by husbands’ disapproval or speculations about the method’s side
effects (Henry, 2001). Moreover, even medical providers of FP services like
obstetricians-gynecologists (53%), general practitioners (52%), and midwives
(48%) believe that women clients should not use FP if their husbands do not
approve of it (TSAP-FP, n.d.).
Quality of care, which is increased through behavioral intervention, tends to
improve contraceptive use/continuation but it is still a long way to achieving
this. Interventions like the trainings on client-centered approach given to doctors,
nurses, and midwives were found to have significantly improved quality of care
based on five main indices (Costello, et. al., 2001). And quality of care at
initiation of contraceptive use appears to be positively linked to continuation of
use at follow-up and higher levels of use of modern methods and any method
(Ramarao, et. al., 2003). The quality of care indices were externally designed and
derived by the researchers from a theoretic and programmatic perspective.
Provider performance on the indices (as rated by clients) was varied and fell
below 100% thus indicating more room for further improvement. Moreover, in
terms of total quality, only over a third of the clients had received ―high quality
care,‖ indicating that researchers and clients may not share the same meaning of
While religion does not appear to be a thorny issue for clients, it seems to be an
important consideration underlying FP support and service provision. The
Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country where the Church has favored
―natural‖ methods over ―artificial‖ modern ones. Although there are still debates
on the influence of the Church, recent evidence seems to indicate that the
influence may no longer be strong: people do not consider religion to be a threat
to FP supporters (Pulse Asia, 2004); men and women rank religious belief only as
the 11th most important factor in FP choice (yet this perception is held by close to
two-thirds of the study’s 1,600 respondents; NFO Trends, January 2004); religion
is women’s least mentioned reason for using contraception (Kinkaid); religious
influence has minimal impact on personal decisions involving FP and
childbearing (Costello, et. al., 2001); or low contraceptive usage is not due to
religion according to the 1998 Demographic and Health Survey (TSAP-FP, n.d.).
As for providers, recent KAP studies reveal that religious beliefs do affect their
prescribing practices (NFO Trends, April 2004) and their recommendations
(according to 53% GPs, 48% OB-Gyns, and 40% midwives; TSAP-FP, n.d.);
that it is against such beliefs to recommend any non-natural method (claimed
by 22% midwives, 19% GPs, and 16% OB-Gyns; TSAP-FP, n.d.); and that
community volunteer workers go against church teachings on FP methods to
fulfill their role (Asia Development Consultant, Inc., n.d.). In addition, local
government officials still fear to antagonize the Church and would rather not
publicly declare political support for FP just to play safe (Costello et.a l., 2001).
Certain personal attributes of health service providers can either positively or
negatively affect FP clients’ behavior. According to clients, the positive
provider attributes exhibited during dyadic interactions with providers or in FP
counseling sessions are good interpersonal communication, sufficient knowledge
about FP, and encouraging personal traits, such as being warm, cheerful, and
respectful. On the other hand, the negative attributes include: speaking in a raised
voice, poking fun directly or indirectly at clients’ response, bombarding client
with questions, depriving client of the chance to talk, cutting off client at mid-
sentence, avoidance in answering client’s queries, and provision of vague answers
(Lamberte et. al., 2004). Providers themselves find that among their
characteristics favorable to FP are having a strong sense of commitment, honest
about shortcomings, willing to undergo training to improve stock knowledge on
FP, innovative, skilled at using visual aids, and respectful of clients’ right to know
and choose a method. However, among their unfavorable characteristics is their
claim that providers themselves do not practice what they preach about
contraceptives and they lack confidence in undertaking FP counseling that may
result in inadvertently mishandling clients’ misconceptions or concerns about the
side effects of modern methods (NFO Trends, April 2004; Lamberte, et. al., 2004;
Asia Development Consultants, inc., n.d.).
Programmatic and Research Implications:
What More Must We Know and Do to Perform Better?
Have a deeper understanding of the system of social control that exerts
profound pressure on providers’ service delivery practices. This system consists
of the various ways the providers’ significant social circles (i.e., family, kin,
friends, and associates) encourage conformity to deeply- held norms and values,
whether religious or cultural, which are regarded as diametrically opposed to FP
objectives. Are the social pressures more intense from certain circles? Are
providers located at the higher rung of the FP service delivery system and in the
less urbanized areas more affected by social control? How effective are informal
mechanisms in influencing providers’ behavior towards FP?
Pay special attention to the content of providers’ responses to women’s beliefs
about modern contraceptive methods during dyadic interaction. How are the
women’s misconceptions handled and their apprehensions allayed by different
providers from the public and private health sectors? In particular, what shared
humoral or folk notions are communicated and reinforced in the minds of both
provider and client during counseling? What specific responses to clients’ queries
or concerns have ―worked‖ for these are convincing to the women and their
husbands/partners and get translated into continued contraceptive use? How then
is it possible, if at all, that providers have been able to convert folk body notions
to the advantage of FP?
Preparatory to collaboration with LGUs, determine to what extent LGU
officials/policy makers and health service providers, especially those of
reproductive age, are themselves staunch practitioners and motivators of FP
within their in-groups. This was an important knowledge gap that the review has
revealed. Do those LGU officials and health providers of reproductive age
themselves accept and continue to use FP especially modern methods? What has
their own experience been? How large is their sphere of advocacy and influence
among members of reproductive age within the immediate family and circle of
relatives, friends, and peers? How successful are they in this personal advocacy?
Develop a participatory program that mobilizes male motivators and advocators
of FP at the community level, for piloting in selected sites with differential
contraceptive prevalence rates (CPR). The review found much evidence
suggesting that men need to become actively involved in FP, not necessarily as
acceptors but more importantly as supporters and advocates, and that such a
program is timely. The program design must be guided by participatory principles
for harnessing men’s views and proposals about which of them in the community
should first become involved, in what ways, for what purposes, and how to know
if their involvement has made any impact on their community’s CPR and general
health. It can be tried out or piloted in selected high and/or low CPR areas with
cooperative LGUs and male groups. Pilot experiences should be documented and
lessons extracted to guide scaling up activities in cooperating LGUs.
Develop community indices for quality of care from the perspective (emic) and
with the participation of clients and providers who make up the core
stakeholders. It should be beneficial to know how similar or different the indices
for quality of care assessment drawn from the perspectives of clients and
providers are when compared to those devised by researchers. When the indices
for quality care are evolved by and from the core stakeholders themselves, this
process enhances the appropriateness of the indices and facilitates their
internalization as part of the expectations of the dyad.
Provide feedback on quality of care assessment to clients and providers of
behavioral interventions. The feedback acquires importance within the context of
enabling stakeholders to share in the analysis of the process of participation and in
finding solutions mutually acceptable to the parties concerned.
Turn to anthropological methods and qualitative analysis to deepen program
understanding of factors influencing behavioral aspects. Many of the
information identified in the preceding programmatic and research implications
are best obtained through qualitative tools that capture and analyze the richness
and multi- faceted nature and extent of people’s perspectives, motivations, and
actions. FP studies have increasingly incorporated such tools as in-depth
interview, focus group discussions, and situation or process analysis, among
others, but it has been observed that data analysis tends to follow the quantitative
approach. Other qualitative methods tried out with much success in participatory
programs outside of FP may be also employed, namely: process documentation
research to extricate and utilize lessons from pilot program experiences, case
studies of best practices and best practitioners, and content analysis of qualitative
II. ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
A. Studies on Provider-Client Interaction and Behavioral Interventions
This category includes 11 reference materials. Except for one (1974), these are all very
recent and dated within the last three years (2001-2004). Despite their number, the
materials concern only seven different studies because two were about one study
(Costello, et. al., 2001; Population Council, 2001), while four were about another study
(Costello, et. al., 2001; Population Council-Frontiers in Reproductive Health, 2002;
Population Council, 2002; Ramarao, et. al., 2003).
Of the seven studies referred to, it is worth noting that only one actually involved a
behavioral intervention with a quasi-experimental design to improve client-provider
interaction (called client-centered approach) and three studies were assessments (with
one indirectly assessing how providers complied with the GATHER Approach to
counseling clients; see Lamberte et. al., 2004). In terms of methodology, four of the seven
studies employed qualitative methods (viz., literature review, FGDs, in-depth interview);
the other three utilized a combination of qualitative (e.g., situation or videotape analysis,
in-depth interviews) and quantitative methods (e.g., survey, exit interview).
The research themes in the seven studies may be clustered into three groups, as follows.
Assessment of the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of key stak eholders—
including providers and clients from the public and private health sectors-- on RH
needs and services and/or the quality of care in FP service provision or in FP
counseling, including providers’ use of the GATHER Approach (Costello, et. al.,
2001; Population Council, 2001; Lamberte, et. al., 2004; Yuchengco Center,
Behavioral intervention (i.e., the client-sentered approach) to improve the quality
of client-provider interaction and thereby enhance contraceptive continuation
(Costello, et. al., 2001; Population Council-Frontiers in Reproductive Health,
2002; Population Council, 2002; Ramarao, et. al., 2003)
Sociocultural factors affecting providers’ FP service provision and/or clients’
contraceptive practice (Bailen and Morisky, 1974; Henry, 2001; TSAP-FP, n.d.).
The Social Acceptance Project-Family Planning. (n.d.) Secondary Review: Barrie rs
to Modern Contraceptive Use in the Philippines. Unpublished paper.
This paper presents a brief review of the FP literature focusing on factors that serve as
barriers to modern contraceptive use on the part of clients and providers in the country. It
starts with the assumption, based on 2000 Pulse Asia survey result, that 94% of Filipinos
believe it important to control one’s fertility and to plan one’s family. Yet why is it that a
prior 1998 DHS result showed that only 28% of married women of reproductive age
(MWRA) used modern contraceptives, 18% of MWRA used traditional methods (which
are not fail-safe), and 20% have an unmet need (not using contraception although
desiring to space or limit the number of children)?
Why then are fertility levels not dropping to the expressed desires of married women?
Some reasons are: a majority of women are not using reliable contraceptive methods, or
they have tried but discontinued using modern contraceptives. The 1998 survey has
shown that low usage of modern (or artificial, according to the church) contraceptive is
not due to religion per se (only 5% of non-user MWRA said their religion is the cause of
non-use). It has likewise revealed that nearly one-third of non-users and nearly 50% of
pill, IUD and injectable discontinuers said that side effects or health concerns were not
the cause of their non-use or discontinuance.
In this secondary review, the key barriers to modern contraceptive use among women and
medical providers that were identified are as follows.
1. For hormonal methods (i.e., pills and injectables), the significant barriers are
their effect of decreasing menstrual flow which runs counter to cultural beliefs
on menstruation; other experienced bodily imbalances symptomatic of high or
low blood; local beliefs linking hormonal methods to accumulation of unhealthy
elements (dirty blood), sexual dysfunction, breast shrinkage, skin allergies,
weight gain/loss, and offspring abnormalities; and husband’s speculation on the
ill effects of hormonal methods and influence against their use.
2. For IUD, the barriers are women’s speculations that it can fall off during hard
work, expose uterus to the cold, increase menstrual flow (may be viewed as
good or bad), and harm the husband’s penis during sexual intercourse.
3. The general barrier is the Filipino concept of hiyang (physical suitability) which
men and women use to explain women’s experience of detrimental side effects
from modern contraceptive use. Positive hiyang are physical signs like
continuation of normal menstruation, weight gain, and absence of ―high blood‖
symptoms; changes in these signs are negative hiyang. It is further believed that
women may gain resistance and immunity from the side effects of modern
methods over time, but a ―rest period‖ can prevent such an occurrence.
Medical providers (OB-Gyns, general practitioners, and midwives)
1. Barrier attitudes and beliefs on hormonal methods:
Some midwives advise clients experiencing amenorrhea to stop using the
method until menstruation returns.
Providers’ attitudes are a barrier although these have improved
considerably. In a 1993 provider study, many OB-Gyns 39% of 66) and
most GPs (64% of 84) would be unwilling to recommend injectables
because (a) the amenorrheic effect could cause clients to be concerned
that they might be pregnant or would accumulate harmful toxins in the
body, (b) these cause spotting, and (c) these cause strong effects like
cancer, bleeding, headache, and nausea. (However, injectables were also
perceived to have advantages: cheaper, convenient, and not a body
irritant.) By 1995, only 11% (of 521 OB-Gyns, GPs, and midwives)
would never recommend injectables, and 2% would never recommend the
2. Barrier attitudes and beliefs on IUD
Provider attitudes have also improved between the two survey periods. In
1993, 17% of 66 OB-Gyns and 34% of 84 GPs would not be willing to
recommend the IUD for these reasons: (a) it is sometimes misplaced, (b)
it is uncomfortable due to the string, (c) it can result in pregnancy
inaccurately placed, (d) complications/infection can occur, and (e) it
In the 1995 survey, 13% (of 521 providers) would never recommend the
IUD. Among the providers, more OB-Gyns (28%) believed ―the IUD is
an abortifacient,‖ compared to GPs (23%) and midwives (16%).
3. Barrier attitudes about FP in general
The 1995 provider survey revealed that many medical providers strongly
agree with many unfavorable statements on FP, such as:
a) A woman should have at least one child before taking OCs—66%
midwives, 51% OB-Gyns, 46% GPs
b) If husband doesn’t approve of FP, the women should not use it—53%
OB-Gyns, 52% GPs, 48% midwives
c) Religious teachings affect recommendation—53% GPs, 48% OB-
Gyns, 40% midwives
d) Reluctant to recommend contraceptives to an unmarried woman--44%
of GPs and midwives, 43% OB-Gyns
e) I only discuss contraception when the client brings up the subject—
46% GPs, 44% midwives, 31% OB-Gyns
f) Health providers should decide the method for the client—43%
midwives, 34% GPs, 25% OB-Gyns
g) Against religious beliefs to recommend any non-natural FP method—
22% midwives, 19% GPs, 16% OB-Gyns
Lamberte, Exaltacion, E., Loyd Brendan P. Norella, Jose Alberto S. Reyes, and
Cristina A. Rodriguez. 2004. Quality of Family Planning Counseling: Lens from
Stakeholders. Manila: De La Salle Unive rsity Press, Inc.
This study underscores the importance of communication intervention, such as
counseling, in ensuring high quality FP service provision. It sought to assess the quality
of FP counseling in both public and private service delivery points, particularly to
identify strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in counseling performance and to provide
recommendations to strengthen such performance. FP counseling is defined as a ―face-to-
face communication wherein the FP service provider helps the clients make a decision
about their fertility‖ and involves a ―two-way communication process.‖ Good counseling
enables the provider to assist the client in making an informed choice, thereby increasing
contraceptive acceptance and continuation rates, and minimizing dropouts.
The study initially provided a review of the research literature on FP counseling in the
country and compared three module designs on the Greet-Ask-Tell- Help-Explain-Return
(GATHER) Approach. The review showed:
FP counseling is more popularly associated with information-giving than as a
two-way communication process between provider and client, and viewed within
the broader context of client-provider interaction;
Variations exist in the standards for FP counseling, as demonstrated by the
varying contents and procedures undertaken in the GATHER approach;
FP counseling and client-provider performance in the country have not been at
par with expectations; and
Provider performance in FP counseling is often affected by myriad organizational
and management-related factors.
The assessment component of the study utilized both quantitative and qualitative research
methods, namely: face-to-face semi-structured exit interviews with 280 clients; face-to-
face semi- structured interviews with 280 non-clients in their homes/residences; in-depth
interviews with 30 providers; in-depth interviews with 24 clinics heads/supervisors; 42
structured facility observations; 14 structured stakeholders’ meetings with a total of 174
local managers, providers, clients, supervisors, and barangay leaders/officials; and
audiotaping of 42 actual FP counseling/communication process occurring in the facility.
The tools used for data gathering were modified versions of the original ones developed
by the JHU Center for Communication Programs. The research covered 28 public
city/rural health offices and NGO private clinics from eight areas in the country,
categorized according to high or low contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) of their
Many interesting results had emerged from the assessment, but only the salient, provider-
related findings are summarized below.
Providers are generally middle-aged (mean of 39 years), with those in public
facilities older than the ones in private clinics. They are all females (public) or
predominantly female (private). Most are well-educated, married, and are
Catholics. Public providers have stayed longer in the service than their private
counterparts. FP services are handled by midwives and nurses in public facilities
and by clinic managers and FP counselors in private ones.
Clients and non-clients positively rate the FP counseling they received, saying the
providers are good at information-giving/teaching, have good interpersonal
communication skills, encourage clients to ask questions, are good listeners,
understanding, and trustworthy, able to help clients with their problems, and give
clients ample time to get all information they required. Hence they would even
recommend their FP facility to their relatives. (However, the authors cautioned
that this overly positive rating could be an effect of exit interviews.)
Providers regard FP counseling as a means of giving correct information about
responsible parenthood that is ideally undertaken one-on-one until the client
voluntarily decides on FP adoption or chooses a particular method. They know it
is a good interaction when clients ask questions, have positive facial expression,
conduct follow-through activity, and actually use a method.
In an ideal FP counseling session, the provider exhibits three major attributes:
good interpersonal communication skills, sufficient knowledge abo ut FP, and
positive traits (e.g., warm, cheerful, and respectful) that can draw clients to them.
Clients say the most ideal client attributes in such a session are being respectful,
cooperative, inquisitive, and attentive. For providers, the attributes are desire to
practice FP, regularly coming in for follow- up visits, and following instructions
properly, in addition to being intelligent, receptive, honest, and assertive.
Most providers, however, assess themselves as lacking adequate knowledge and
skills to effectively counsel clients. While a great majority have heard of the
GATHER approach, only 10% consistently observe it in counseling sessions
while the rest use it selectively with first-time users or not at all.
Observations of the actual counseling sessions reveal that the behaviours required
by this approach were exhibited by the providers except for two areas: assurance
of confidentiality and utilization of IEC materials.
However, the audiotape transcripts reveal the occurrence of certain s ituations that
may hinder clients from asking questions, like providers speaking in raised tones,
laughing at client, directly or indirectly making fun of client’s response,
bombarding client with questions, not allowing client the opportunity to talk,
cutting off the client at mid-statement, avoidance in answering client’s queries,
and provision of vague answers.
The transcripts also show that providers differentially manage clients’
misconceptions about FP methods. While some attempt to address these, others
merely took note of them or fail directly to address them. Among the
- Pills cause swelling in the uterus, hypertension, headaches, irritability;
leave sediments in the uterus that create myoma and tumor or block
women’s passageways; and should not be taken during menstruation.
- IUD causes body malaise (binat), obstructions in the body, abdominal
tenderness, ectopic pregnancy, hemorrhage; can be removed easily or can
be expelled when woman lifts a heavy load; IUD string goes inside the body
or can strangle a man’s penis during sexual intercourse.
- Tubal ligation causes stomach ache, makes women more sexually aggressive
and promotes infidelity.
- Condoms are not reliable and safe; they often break and cause unwanted
- Depo-Provera injections protect against STIs or cause tumor.
Side effects of contraceptive methods are often covered in the sessions and
providers are usually adept at discussing these including warning signs.
The perceived gaps between the ideal and actual FP counseling sessions are
related to problems in physical facilities, operational concerns, and space, as well
as inability of both providers and clients to attain their ideal attributes.
In public clinics, only one out of seven providers is untrained; in private clinics,
one out of four. Provision of quality FP counseling is partly maintained through
continuous training in the last seven years. Nevertheless, providers recommend
further training to enhance counseling knowledge and skills and require feedback
from supervisors. They are generally aware of the standards on good counseling
but do not usually get recognition for having done it.
Among the various recommendations of the study are: need to increase the technical and
financial assistance to strengthen the providers capacity to deliver quality FP counselling
particularly in public facilities, and need to develop client’s active participation in the
Yuchengco Center. June 2004. Assessment of Family Planning Clinics in the
Industry. Report submitted to The Social Acceptance Project-Family Planning.
Manila: De La Salle Unive rsity.
Yuchengco Center was commissioned to do an assessment of current family planning
service provision in industrial sites in selected provinces in the Philippines. The intended
result of the study was to develop appropriate mechanisms for increasing the provision of
quality RH and FP information, methods and services in the industrial sector, and to
enlist the active participation of the private sector in the promotion of contraceptive self-
The assessment consisted of: (a) reviewing documents on selected past industry-based FP
programs and delineate lessons learned from the experience, (b) undertaking an industry
clinics needs assessment based on the perceptions and support of company HRD
managers, perspectives of providers of FP service delivery, and client experiences in FP
acceptance in industry clinics, (c) identifying potential partners in the implementation of
planned programs, (d) providing strategic recommendations for the TSAP-FP industry
based program, and (e) determining mechanisms for enhancing private sector financing
and support to industry-based FP programs.
Two industrial sites were purposively selected in each of the three categories (low tech,
high tech, and agro- industrial plantations) per province. The provinces included were
Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, Tarlac, Bulacan, and Metro Cebu.
Among the findings were:
1. The review of documents on past industry-based programmes showed that the
foundation for incorporating FP in the industry has already been set through the
private sector initiatives of PCF (now PCPD), TUCP, and RPMCHAP and
FriendlyCare. Their resources could be tapped to enhance FP services in training,
IEC and resources mobilization, and service provision.
2. The assessment showed the FP services in company clinics to be limited to
consultation and counseling on the various FP methods, provision of pills and
condoms, referrals, and information and education. Clinic size is basically small
and is usually staffed by a part-time physician and a full-time nurse.
Comprehensive FP information is unavailable; visual a nd auditory privacy is
lacking, records or reports that document client intake and status are absent, and
screening procedures are minimal and focused on history-taking and less on
3. Company support consists of funds for staff salary, clinic operations, equipment
and medicines, but none for contraceptives. Contraceptive supplies are availed of
from rural health units and other government and NGO organizations. Although
managers are inclined to support FP, this action must have prior management
4. Contraceptives provided at the industry clinics are mainly pills and condoms.
These are also the methods mostly accepted by users. Nurses provide medical
services regularly, but physicians, including an OB-Gyn specialist, report on
certain days. Referrals are given to clients who opt for contraceptive methods
other than pills or condoms.
5. Provision of quality service is minimal due to small clinic space, lack of IEC
materials, inadequate staff training, and shortage of supplies.
6. Clients have a generally positive attitude towards clinic staff and are not
concerned about quality service provision. The major reason for discontinuance of
contraceptive use is their experience of side-effects.
The issues raised by the study include weak ma nagement motivation and support for FP
service provision, lack of staff technical competence in FP, non-encouraging company
policies, weak monitoring from DOLE with regard to FP compliance by company, and
low level of awareness and knowledge of FP among co mpany employees.
Ramarao, Saumya, Marlina Lacuesta, Marilou Costello, Blesilda Pangolibay, and
Heidi Jones. June 2003. The Link Between Quality of Care and Contraceptive Use.
Inte rnational Family Planning Perspectives 29(2):76-83.
Basing on theoretical insights and empirical evidence, the researchers hypothesized that
high quality FP care influences the contraceptive and reproductive behavior of persons
who are ambivalent about their fertility intentions, who do not use services because of
perceptions of poor quality, and who have discontinued use of poor-quality services of
discourteous treatment by providers. Thus they examined longitudinal data to assess the
impact of care on continued contraceptive use in the provinces of Davao del Norte and
The study was a collaborative effort of Population Council, New York and Ateneo de
Davao University, Philippines. It was designed as a longitudinal study with two rounds of
interviews (16-24 months apart) with a panel of new FP users. The panel comprised
attendees at 80 service delivery points in the two provinces. The service delivery points
consisted of 20 rural health units and 60 barangay health stations.
The 1,728 new FP users (meaning never used before, switching to a new method, or first-
time user of the service delivery point) were identified from clinic records. Their
interviews took place in the home. More than 80% were interviewed within six months of
receiving FP care. The first interview obtained information on respondent’s quality of
care received at the time of initiating a contraceptive method, the type of method adopted,
and background characteristics. The second interview collected information on
respondents’ contraceptive and reproductive behavior since the first round. These data
were obtained as part of an intervention study with a quasi-experimental design—
providers of FP services in 40 of the study’s 80 service delivery points received training.
For this paper, the researchers analyzed pooled data from the experimental and control
groups. The independent variable of principal interest is quality of care (QOC) and
reflects five different aspects of care-giving process: (1) assessment of client need, (2)
information conveyed to client, (3) choices offered to client, (4) c lient treated well by
provider, and (5) client linked to follow- up services. These aspects were chosen because
they represent different dimensions of the process from a theoretic and programmatic
perspective. The dependent variable is use of a contraceptive method at follow- up (could
mean use of any method or use of a modern method).
The results revealed that:
Based on scores for total quality, 36% of the respondents had received high-
quality care while 27%, poor quality care.
Responses on the five aspects of quality differed considerably, e.g., three-fifths
reported all their needs had been assessed whereas barely one-tenth said they had
been given all necessary information about follow-up.
Cross-tabulation of quality and contraceptive use at follow up showed that better
care is associated with higher levels of use of modern methods and any method.
―Continuation of a modern contraceptive method steadily increased as the level
of quality moved from low (53%) to medium (59%) to high (63%). The
relationship of quality of care to use of any method was similar.‖
A desire not to have children for at least two years was associated with higher use
of a modern contraceptive at follow-up.
A multivariate analysis found that the magnitude, direction, and significance of
the effect of quality on modern contraceptive use were maintained across all
logistical regression models even after adding a range of control variables. This
was significant because previous analyses showed that the effect of quality tends
to diminish when additional controls are added.
The study’s findings were important for the following reasons. They constituted the first
rigorous analysis that supported the positive link between quality of care at initiation of
contraceptive use and continuation of use at follow-up. They validated the efforts of
professionals and advocates engaged in sustaining and improving quality as an end in
itself. They also provided empirical proof that focusing on the interpersonal contact
between providers and clients can address some gaps in FP programs. And finally, they
showed that it pays for the program to focus on providing for the needs of continuing
clients rather than on concentrating exclusively on the recruitment of new ones. However,
there must be clear and specific guidelines for serving continuing clients, as well as
appropriate evaluation criteria for service providers and the overall program.
Population Council. September 2002. Quality of Care: Improving Provider-Client
Inte ractions in the Philippines. Population Briefs 8 (2).
A way to improve the quality of care provided at FP clinics is to enhance provider-client
communication or make services client-oriented, an approach that shifts provider focus
from reliance on FP methods to client needs. This entails discovering clients’ desires
especially on future child bearing, permitting them a range of contraceptive methods to
choose from, conveying the proper information about the chosen method, and assuring
them that they can switch methods anytime.
The client-centered approach was tried out in Davao del Norte, Philippines, as part of
Population Council’s Impact Studies Project. This was prompted by the occurrence of a
large proportion of discontinuation in contraceptive use owing primarily to inadequate
clinician-client dialogue. The interventions were analyzed by comparing experimental
with control municipalities.
The study design involved:
Clinics from 10 matched pairs of municipalities, with one locale from each pair
randomly assigned to the experimental group and the other to the control.
Eight doctors, 11 nurses and 38 midwives from the experimental group received
five days of training after the assessment. The midwives also attended three
refresher courses from 1997 to 1999. Provider knowledge before and after the
training was assessed using detailed interviews and found to have increased
significantly with regard to side effects and warning signs of contraceptive
methods. Since no training was given to providers in the control clinics, no
appreciable change was noted in their knowledge.
A total of 1,728 new contraceptive users were interviewed—869 from
experimental clinics and 859 from the control group. They were asked to
evaluate five aspects of Quality of Care: whether client’s needs were assessed,
whether clients were given a choice of methods, whether they received the
necessary information about their method of choice, whether they were told when
to return to the clinic, and whether they were treated well. Clients who went to the
experimental clinics reported to have received significantly better care and a
significantly greater proportion of them also received complete information
compared to those who went to the control clinics.
Despite significant progress after the intervention, the researchers acknowledged that
there still exists much room for improvement for all quality of care dimensions
considering: even in the experimental clinics, one-third did not have their needs assessed,
two-thirds did not get full information, three-fifths reported not being treated well, and
nine-tenths were not well informed about follow- up services.
In the next phase of the study, clients would be followed up to determine contraceptive
continuation rates after one and two years.
Population Council-Frontiers in Reproductive Health. Septe mber 2002. Services
Improve Quality of Care but Fail to Increase FP Continuation. OR Summary 30:
Philippines and Senegal Quality of Care.
This OR Summary provides some highlights on the client-centered service delivery
intervention initiated in the Philippines and Senegal to improve quality of care in client-
provider interaction. For this review, only the Philippine data will be reported.
The Philippine study was based on the work of Costello, et. al. in Davao del Norte; it
represented one part of a multi-country Population Council-Frontiers in Reproductive
Health research to test whether improving quality affects women’s contraceptive
continuation. It used a quasi-experimental design with longitudinal data- gathering. Five
indicators were used to measure quality: (1) assessment of client’s needs, (2) choice of
methods provided, (3) information given on the chosen method, (4) interpersonal
relations with clients, and (5) provisions to ensure follow-up care.
The implementation focused on training in FP for 40 experimental clinics (none in 40
control clinics), supportive supervision, and refresher courses to improve client-provider
interaction. Data were gathered before, shortly after, and 16 months following
intervention at experimental and control clinics. New FP users in these clinics were also
Highlights of the study’s findings are:
Clients rated the quality of care higher at the experimental clinics in all aspects of
care, except on switching methods where both clinics provide similar amounts of
The intervention was found to be effective in increasing the quality of care
provided, but not sufficient enough to significantly increase the length of the time
women continued to use contraception. The rate of continuation one year after the
intervention was still the same (about 75%) for both experimental and control
groups. Thus it was concluded that the experiment ―failed to demonstrate a causal
relationship between improved quality of care and increased contraceptive
Although the intervention failed to have a significant effect on contraceptive use,
secondary analysis combining data from clients of both centers suggests an
―underlying association between quality of care and use of FP methods.‖ But it is
necessary to clarify the degree to which factors under the control of managers
contribute to this association.
There is room for more improvements in the quality of services despite the
increases realized in quality of care. For instance, mo re providers in experimental
than in control clinics fully assessed client’s needs (66% versus 52%), but a third
of the clients still did not get a complete assessment. More providers at the
experimental clinics informed clients about methods that protect against STIs, but
more than half of the total number of clients were not given this information.
The study concludes that improving client-provider interaction results in better quality of
care for clients, but there are other factors likely to act as determinants of contraceptive
continuation. In terms of utilization, the intervention has been expanded in one province
and there is interest from the Department of Health and other provinces to also adopt the
model. The study received two national awards for best research and best practice.
Costello, Marilou, Marlina Lacuesta, Saumya Ramarao, and Anrudh Jain.
December 2001. A Client-Centered Approach to Family Planning: The Davao
Project. Studies in Family Planning 32 (4): 302 -314.
The paper describes a field project in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley provinces
in the Philippines that implemented one model of a client-centered approach to family
planning (FP) in 1997-99. This model advocated a shift in the focus and objectives of FP
programs from fertility reduction to meeting clients’ needs. It hypothesized that improved
information exchange is likely to result in clients’ selection of appropriate contraceptive
methods and in higher continuity of method use. With little field experience to back it up,
the model was implemented using a quasi-experimental design. The intervention
addressed clients’ self-defined reproductive needs by providing them with relevant and
accurate information and good quality services. It consisted of two components: training
of 57 providers (doctors, nurses, and midwives in experimental areas) in information
exchange and training of supervisors (from experimental areas and provincial offices) in
facilitative supervision, both trainees located at fixed clinics. Data on the res ults of the
trainings were obtained through two situation analyses and a survey of 1,728 new users
from the experimental and control municipalities.
Information exchange refers to a two-way communication process that can empower
women clients to share control of the process of making choices appropriate to their own
needs and circumstances. It is not to be mistaken for counseling which is a one-way
communication process from provider to client. Facilitative supervision, on the other
hand, emphasizes mentoring, joint problem-solving, and two-way communication.
The results of the training on providers’ knowledge are:
There is significant improvement in the knowledge of providers from the
experimental municipalities concerning common side effects and warning signs
for the oral and injectable contraceptives and the IUD.
Most of the overall increase in providers’ knowledge is due to an increase in what
they learned about warning signs.
In spite of the improvement, providers’ awareness of common side effects and
warning signs still need enhancement since the training did not increase their
ability to list all side effects of a method and to recognize all warning signs. (But
this could have been a result of the format of the questions—i.e., the responses
were unprompted so the omission might be due to lack of recall rather than of
The results of the training on providers’ behavior are as follows.
Respondents of experimental clinics say:
- They received significantly better care for they were mo re likely to get asked
about their reproductive intentions, their preferred timing of the next birth, and
their previous FP experience;
- The provider explained how the method worked, what its side effects were,
what managing problems arose from its use, what the warning signs consisted
of, and how to protect against STDs;
- They received comparatively more information, but these were not necessarily
all the information they were entitled to;
- They experienced a high level of interpersonal personal contact with providers;
- They were more likely to be told when to return, but less likely to be told of
other sources of contraceptive supply (possibly because the providers in the
experimental clinics perceived themselves to be providing high quality services
and thus saw no need to inform clients of other sources).
There is no significant difference between the experimental and control groups
with regard to:
- contraceptive choices received by women from providers
- overall continuity of services
Much room for improvement is necessary on five dimensions of quality of care as
the indices fell below 100% although women in the experimental group received
better care. The indicators are: all client’s needs were assessed, client was offered
full choice of methods, client received full information, client felt she was treated
well, and client felt she was well connected to services. Overall, in both
experimental and control groups, only less than 5% of the responde nts reported
they received high-quality care indicating a need for ongoing interventions.
On the quality of provider-client exchange, the results show that providers were
reportedly inquiring about their client’s needs and provident relevant information.
The study concludes that the intervention altered the way services were provided.
Training providers is a feasible means for enhancing their knowledge of contraception
and for improving information exchange with clients. Interested providers are able to
create an atmosphere conducive to communication with clients like improvising private
examination rooms or giving private, one-on-one information exchange instead of the
usual general public counseling. Two gaps identified in the information exchange process
are concerned with methods that protect against HIV/STIs and alternative sources of
The study also notes efforts to expand or replicate the intervention in the public sector.
But the adoption was impeded by weak supervision due to lack of trave l allowance funds
and vehicles or the time-consuming work of filling out supervisory checklists.
Nevertheless, one provincial health officer implemented the intervention throughout his
Henry, Rebecca. 2001. Contraceptive Practice in Quirino Province, Philippines:
Experiences of Side Effects. Manila: University of the Philippines Population
Institute and University of La Sallette. Calverton, Maryland: Macro International
This is a qualitative research study that examined how the contraceptive practices and
understanding of women in Quirino Province had led many of them to discontinue
contraceptive use even though they did not wish to become pregnant. The research was
done in response to the high rate of contraceptive discontinuance reported in the 1998
NDHS, where two in five users stopped usage within the first year.
Multiple methods were used to gather data from May to July 2000, namely: (1) initial
semi-structured interviews with 81 married women selected from four study clinics, (2)
follow-up in-depth interviews with 24 of the women and their husbands, as well as with
20 providers including midwives, hilots, and barangay health workers (BHWs), (3)
analysis of 47 interactions between midwives and BHWs and their respective clients, (4)
rapid assessment of the study clinics, and (5) visits to local pharmacies to determine
which contraceptives were available and to interview pharmacists. Preliminary findings
were presented at provider roundtables in the study areas to obtain feedback and to
develop the recommendations.
The major findings were:
1. Women’s understanding and practices concerning menstruation and fertility were
derived from humoral assumptions about the natural body, health, and illness. Hence:
Hormonal contraceptive methods (like pills) that decreased or stopped
menstruation are less acceptable to women than those increasing menstruation
because menstruation is believed to be healthy and good for blood circulation and
balancing bodily humors. Menstrual change leads to speculation about the
accumulation of blood in the body (high blood) and, to a lesser extent, about low
blood and chronic conditions like tumors or cancer.
Hormonal methods whose side effects are symptoms associated with ―high blood‖
like headache, dizziness, and hotheadedness are considered by both women and
men to be not ―hiyang‖ (suitable), therefore ineffective methods.
Despite its fewer reported side effects, the IUD is still generally not preferred by
women because it could easily fall out due to the ―open‖ and ―slippery‖ nature of
the uterus during menstruation.
2. Women usually choose their own contraceptive method, but their husbands influence
their choice by speculating about the side effects experienced by their wives.
3. Women and couples use all available contraceptive methods including withdrawal,
periodic abstinence, and lactational amenorrhea. The main source of FP methods is
the government FP clinics. Pills are most commonly used and many women have
used them continuously for years because they are hiyang.
4. Humoral perspectives have led women to use contraceptive methods in ways not
recommended by biomedical practitioners. For example, when use of DMPA results
in amenorrhea, women simply stop using the method until their menstruat ion returns
and then go back to the provider for another injection. Another strategy is to switch to
the pill when they become amenorrheic on DMPA. Such strategies expose women to
pregnancy long after it had been assumed that they had adjusted to the method.
5. Two kinds of knowledge about the body, health, and illness on the job—biomedical
and humoral—govern the work of midwives and BHWs in varying degrees.
Biomedical knowledge is supported through midwifery schooling or BHW training,
while humoral knowledge is cultivated through the cultural experiences of women,
hilots, and other community members. The two knowledge systems clash on the
meaning of the physical manifestation of menstruation and its impact on health, as
well as on the type and frequency of side effects of the pharmaceutical contraceptive
methods. Differences in the biomedical and humoral perspectives have resulted in the
bicultural position of midwives and BHWs that make provision of services difficult.
Finally, the study made the following recommendations.
Address the bicultural position of health providers in the midwifery training,
medical education, and ongoing professional training, particularly alternative
perspectives of the body, how to show respect for differences, and how to
negotiate treatment options.
Offer a sufficient variety or method- mix (both hormonal and natural) at the clinics
so midwives need not feel pressured to convince women to use a particular
method that may not be well suited to their needs.
Gear counseling and health education more closely to the actual experiences of
women. These should reflect and convey an underlying respect for their views on
the body. Counseling on side effects prior to dispensing a method is important.
Complaints of side effects should be listened to, discussed, and addressed in the
treatment plan; options for switching should likewise be provided. Negotiate
choice of methods in consideration of manifest effects of methods, like menstrual
bleeding, rather than according to which perspective o f the body is correct.
Population Council. September 2001. Reproductive Health Needs and Services
Assessed in the Philippines. Population Briefs 7 (3).
Researchers who did a rapid field appraisal of RH needs and services with the help of
government agencies and several cooperating agencies found that program managers can
properly provide services in RH and FP clinics if they are aware of the knowledge,
attitudes, and perceptions of their clients and other stakeholders.
The fieldwork occurred in May-June 2000 in 15 urban and rural sites across the major
island groupings in the Philippines. It consisted of in-depth interviews with city health
officers, population officers, hospital administrators, and local officials; and focus group
discussions with married and unmarried men and women, service providers, program
managers, and local officials.
The researchers found no common understanding of the term ―reproductive health‖
among the different stakeholders. The meanings varied but clustered around the ideas that
RH ―has to do with sex‖ or ―is about family planning.‖ However, the greatest
understanding and appreciation of RH came from health service providers, who had been
trained in RH issues, and from women who were more likely to use health services than
men. But regarding STIs, HIV/AIDS, and safe sex issues, it was the young unmarried
men who were most likely to be aware than unmarried women. Local- level government
officials in the Philippines who determine resource allocation and service availability
were also discovered to have limited awareness of RH topics ―probably because of an
absence of a decisive and clear national policy on reproductive health.‖
The public believed that private facilities are superior to public facilities. The latter was
perceived to be lacking in resources, have overworked personnel, and subjected to
interfering local officials who make supplies and medicines dependent on political favors.
Community members in focus groups stressed that ―current services should be improved
rather than new ones added.‖
Local government leaders proposed charging fees on a sliding scale to cope with
difficulties of upgrading services in a resource-poor country. But this was an unpopular
idea as every focus group in all categories of stakeholders d isagreed with it. Although
religion may pose a barrier to obtaining RH in a Catholic country like the Philippines,
many focus group participants held that it only has little influence on their FP and
childbearing decisions. Like religion, the husband’s attitude on FP does not also pose
much of an obstacle for women wanting to use contraceptives.
The investigators suggested that policy makers and program planners work on increasing
the awareness and support for RH care of the local government officials, and enhancing
communication and counseling skills of outreach workers who exert important influence
on the health decision making of women.
Costello, Marilou, Virginia Miralao, Ma. Teresa Manganar, and Saniata Masulit.
2001. A Rapid Field Appraisal of Reproductive Health Care Needs and Available
Reproductive Health Services in the Philippines. New York: Population Council.
Using the qualitative methods of in-depth, unstructured interviews and focus group
discussions, the study made a rapid assessment of the knowledge, attitudes, and
perceptions (KAP) of key stakeholders on issues that affect RH care needs and services in
order to develop policies supportive of devolved FP and RH programs in the country.
Conducted in May-July 2000 in urban and rural areas of 15 sites throughout the country,
it was done in collaboration with major government agencies, POPCOM, DOH,
cooperating agencies (CAs), and USAID/Manila to ensure utilization of findings and
rapid feedback to national and local stakeholders. A total of 1,027 participated in the
study: 107 local decision-makers (mayors, vice- mayors, barangay captains, health council
members), 33 program managers, 384 public and private service providers, 262 married
men and women, and 241 young unmarried males and females.
On the knowledge component, findings showed:
There is no common understanding of the term ―reproductive health‖ (RH)
RH awareness/understanding is highly correlated with respondents’ exposure to
RH training, IEC programs, and services. Thus program managers, service
providers, and married women had highest levels of understanding and factual
knowledge about available services compared to local officials, men, and the
youth (low levels).
Knowledge about STI/HIV/AIDS and safe sex issues is higher among young
unmarried men than among young unmarried women, but both are poorly
informed about local health services.
The stakeholders’ perceptions clustered on:
Private health facilities are perceived to be generally superior over those of the
public sector in terms of infrastructure, equipment, supplies, and quality of care.
The public health system’s capacity to deliver health services is hampered by lack
of resources, overworked personnel, and patronage/political practices such as
palakasan (favoritism). Because of such practices, local officials are seen as
sometimes interfering with routine services particularly when making available
health care supplies and medicines.
Because of the state of the public health system, rather than demand for additional
services respondents insist on having improved and adequate health facilities;
skilled, competent, and caring health providers; and improved health information
for the general public.
Health concerns are not generally seen as priorities of LGU officials who place
greater emphasis on infrastructure projects and other economic development
concerns. This is compounded by the absence of institutionalized mechanisms to
bring local health needs to the local officials’ attention.
There is generally no active opposition to FP and RH in the study sites. Church or
religious influence on FP and childbearing decisions are viewed as having
minimal impact on personal decisions, hence do not present a serious threat to RH
programs. Local officials are likely to support FP/RH initiatives as a mechanism
to alleviate the poverty in high-growth communities, however, they may not
publicly declare political support since they are seen as wanting to play safe and
not antagonize the Catholic Church.
Findings on attitudes converged on the following:
Clients, especially married respondents, possess negative sentiments towards the
charging of fees for public health services. Local officials may oppose the idea as
it would make them unpopular among constituents. However, should these
become necessary, fees must be reasonably minimal, presented to the public
ahead of time, and not be charged to the extremely poor.
Health personnel/workers are generally welcomed and appreciated as important
sources and communicators of RH information.
Concerning FP decision- making, many married women usually decide for
themselves but are nevertheless open and receptive to the advice and
recommendations of spouse, relatives, and health care providers like BSPOs and
In conclusion, the study pointed to the following implications for RH programs:
1. Correct the low awareness of STDs and safe sex of young unmarried women to
increase the prospects for curbing STIs.
2. Increase the appreciation of LGU officials for RH issues because they determine
to a great extent the availability of health services through their budget
3. Define and implement a clear national policy on RH that reflects a paradigm shift
towards client-oriented service delivery and thrust towards consciousness-raising,
providing adequate information, instilling comprehensive understanding, and
formation of positive attitudes about RH.
4. Improve quality of care focusing on better treatment of clients’ needs and
addressing complaints about patronage practices in clinics.
5. Make stronger advocacy to pressure national and local government offices to
monitor public health facilities.
The study recommended an alternative strategy that (1) distributes (rather than
concentrates) RH services across a network of health facilities such as public health
centers, higher-level hospitals, youth centers, crises centers, and other specialized clinics;
(2) pays special attention to the RH knowledge and needs of the youth sector; (3) directs
advocacy to LGU officials to obtain RH support, and (4) enhances the information-giving
and counseling skills of the outreach health workers who are the true ―frontliners‖ of the
RH program in the community.
Rapid field appraisal findings were utilized by several CAs as intended by the study.
Bailen, Jerome B. and Donald E Morisky. September 1974. Traditional Birth
Attendants (Hilots) and Modern Family Planning in Marinduque. Quezon City:
University of the Philippines-Department of Anthropology.
This is an ethnographic study done in June 1972 to determine the characteristics of 101
trained and 22 untrained hilots in three Marinduque municipalities. These trained hilots
were participants in a capacitating project given in May 1971 by the Institute of Maternal
and Child Health (IMCH), a unit of the Children’s Medical Center Philippines, Inc., to
deliver MCH and FP services. The study interviewed the hilots, attended their meetings,
and accompanied them in their rounds. Also interviewed were the clinic staffs of IMCH,
the rural health units, FP lay motivators, and 122 randomly sampled male and female
residents from the general population.
The following are selected findings about the sample from the general population:
95% are Catholic; 5% Protestant
Health was ―not only equated with physical traits, but behavioral and special traits
Women rank health as a priority more than men. Based on a list provided by the
researchers, health was second to wealth and material possessions for women; it
was fourth after wealth and material possessions, clothing, and food for men.
Love, which the authors believed was equated with sex, was prioritized more by
men than women (ranked 7th by men and 11th by women).
Religion, for both sexes, is least important among the priorities: it ranked 10 th for
women and 11th for men.
The three reasons for patronizing a healer are: low cost of services, proximity, and
availability; whereas for patronizing a medical practitioner, competence,
―knowledgeability,‖ and ―efficiency‖ (probably meaning effectiveness) of doctor
and doctor’s medicines.
The characteristics of successful hilots, for barrio residents, are: friendly,
courteous, and has good public relations; for town residents: efficiency.
Selected findings concerning the hilots and related to FP are as follows.
Hilots are mostly females and middle-aged (average of 54.6 years) with little
formal education (average of 3.7 years); all had been married; most practice in
their birthplace and mentored by a female relative from the same barrio, and have
large family sizes (average of 8 children).
Both trained and untrained hilots act as FP motivators (so the untrained hilot
could replace a trained one dropped by the Project); with the trained hilots
looking down on the untrained ones.
Becoming a hilot depends on the ―whims of the supernatural beings.‖
Hilots’ beliefs include:
- The sperm and egg explanation for conception, in addition to the necessity of
having a simultaneous orgasm.
- A woman cannot conceive if her uterus is flattened or misplaced, but hilot can
bring it back to shape/place.
- Abortion is possible by drinking a suspension from the roots of krukutso,
agoho, and makabuhay dipped in liquor (sioktuong, anisada) for a week or a
boiled concoction from papaya seeds; this will also cause menstruation.
The perceived barriers to FP are:
- Extreme poverty, hence money for health and medications is secured only
when the family member is seriously ill and having to buy contraceptive
supplies strains the budget.
- Even if supplies were free, transportation fare is still needed to get to the clinic
for them and some clinics ask for ―donation‖ in return for supplies.
- People’s general attitude of ―waiting for things to happen to them.‖
- People’s belief that ―child-bearing will eventually stop without FP.‖
- ―Husband-objectors‖ who veto use of FP when wife is in favor. Hence some
women used IUD without their husband’s consent or knowledge. But when
the husbands found out because they got poked by the string during sexual
intercourse, they quarreled with hilot FP motivators.
- ―Many, many rumors‖ that contraceptive use harms health and can be fatal:
(1) A teacher who used IUD had a heart attack and the corpse had a bloated
stomach allegedly because the IUD had caused the uterus to rot; (2) Some
women who used pills experienced skin eruptions as witnessed by hilots; and
(3) Side effects from oral contraceptives such as nausea, slight headaches,
vomiting gave credence to rumors that pills can make people crazy or cause
brain cancer. Rumors that fly about form part of the local lore on FP.
- Males who are more unfavorable towards FP than women because ―getting a
woman pregnant is a way of tying her down to the house.
- Hilots who do not have enough FP training and lack thorough understanding
of the methods do not know how to handle resistance to FP.
- Trained hilots who actively campaign against FP.
- Hilots who are convinced of FP during the training but gradually return to
their old beliefs and traditions.
- Clinic personnel who take credit for acceptors brought in by hilots, who turn
away users by insisting on donations for contraceptives, who treat hilots like
children, who vocally oppose all methods except for rhythm, who report late
to the clinic so the patients would have tired of waiting, would leave, or wo uld
be seen only by less qualified staff, and who suspect hilots did not conduct
house visits if they did not bring in any acceptors during the month.
Some of the study’s recommendations are: (1) Hilot training should be phased, allowing
for practice of skills learned before returning to the next phase to process and learn from
experiences; (2) Male hilots should be trained for the male involvement program as they
cannot talk with women about FP; (3) Provide better compensation for hilots so the y can
give a better performance; and (4) Provide adequate administrative support to hilots.
B. Provider-Related Studies
Only three reference materials were found to belong in this category. These are about
studies undertaken within the last six years at least (one was undated). They focus on two
Knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and/or practices on FP-related issues among
health providers in the public health facilities and industry clinics,
particularly among community volunteer workers (NFO Trends, 2004; Asia
Development Consultants, n.d.).
Providers’ research practicum to assess the quality of care provision of FP
services in public and NGO health facilities (Lamberte, et. al., 1998).
NFO Tre nds. April 2004. Project Clarity: A Census and KAP Among Health
Providers. Report prepared for the Acade my for Educational Development (AED)-
The Social Acceptance Project-Family Planning (TSAP-FP) Division.
This particular study looked at the prevailing knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices
of these health service providers who hail from public health facilities/hospitals and
industry clinics. The information would be used to develop interventions in selected
project sites that could equip providers with the correct and latest research-based
information on specific FP methods to attain an increase in acceptance of FP as part of
the routine health package in public health facilities/hospitals and industry clinics.
The study utilized two quantitative methods: a census of the public health facil ities/
hospitals and industry clinics in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Calabarzon,
and Cebu industrial areas, and a KAP survey of providers from these sites. The total
number of facilities came to 955--723 city hospitals, health centers, barangay health
stations, rural health units, and lying- in clinics, and 232 industrial clinics. The KAP
respondents totaled 750--250 doctors, 200 midwives, and 300 nurses (87% from the
public health facilities and 13% from industry clinics). Data gathering occurred from July
to November 2003.
The main findings particularly with respect to the KAP survey are as follows.
1. Knowledge/beliefs on mechanism of action and side effects of modern methods
Majority of the providers believe that none of the FP methods (i.e., pill, injectable,
IUD, and male and female sterilization) is abortifacient, but close to a third of
them think that some methods (particularly IUD) are.
Providers usually associate the methods with certain effects, namely:
Pill – 55-71% say it causes weight gain, can cause/aggravate high blood pressure,
can cause migraine
IUD – 27-47% think it causes pelvic infection and sometimes abortion (also
believed by more doctors)
Injectable – 40-43% think it can cause amenorrhea leading to/aggravating high
blood pressure and migraine
Sterilization – 19% say ligation can cause ectopic pregnancy; 8% say vasectomy
can bring about loss of libido.
On other modern methods like mucus/Billings, basal body temperature, LAM,
symptothermal method and standard days’ method, providers admit they do
not know enough to confidently recommend their use, or they feel these
methods are inconvenient/difficult for patients to use.
2. Attitudes on FP
Providers believe that providing FP services does not diminish their public image
Religious beliefs affect their prescribing practices, however, this does not
allegedly deter them from recommending the modern FP methods mentioned
There is a general hesitation among them to recommend FP methods to singles
and this is affirmed in their practice.
Providers are highly respectful of patient’s right to decide on the method to use so
they not likely to impose their preferences on patients. They also emphasize
spousal consent particularly in permanent methods like ligation and vasectomy.
Providers are likewise very respectful of patient’s right to know the advantages
and disadvantages of FP methods.
3. Practices on providing FP information
Majority give FP information to all patients of reproductive age regardless of
whether or not they ask for it. Many also provide information to patients with
more than 2-3 children.
Over two-thirds estimate that only 1-40% of their total consultations are FP-
related. Very few patients are said to inquire about FP except in the case of pre-
and post-natal patients who reportedly most usually receive FP counseling from
In general, health facilities tend to provide more methods (74-97%) than
counseling (41-57%), except for onsite industry clinics where more counseling
(71%) is given than method (62%). Promotion is practiced over 40% of the time
in different urban and rural facilities.
4. Prescribing practices
The pill, IUD, injectable, condom, LAM, and ligation are more frequently
prescribed/recommended than other modern methods (i.e., mucus/Billings,
thermometer, standard days’, symptothermal) and traditional methods.
Vasectomy is less recommended mainly because of fewer male patients.
Withdrawal is prescribed one out of 2 providers.
For limiting the number of children, permanent methods (ligation-92%;
vasectomy-75%) are preferred.
More than half of the providers do not recommend traditional methods.
5. Usage of FP literature and manner of updating
Providers are highly unaware of medical literature such as DARE (97%), National
Guidelines Clearing House (93%), Cochrane Batabase of Systematic Reviews
(91%), PubMed (91%), and MedLine (83%) nor heard of Evidence-Based
Medicine (81%) and WHO Medical Eligibility Criteria for Starting Contraceptive
Most providers are aware of the Green Book or the National FP Service
Guidelines (53%) and a majority of them (76%) claim to follow this reference.
They rely on lectures or workshops which 68% attended in the past year to get
updates on FP. Most had also attended a post-licensure training course on FP
(65%) or read medical literature (56% had done so in the preceding 4 weeks).
Lamberte, Exaltacion E. 1998. Assessing Quality of Care Provision in Family
Planning Services: Issues and Lessons Learned. In Improving Quality of Care in
Family Planning Services: Conference Proceedings of the Quality of Care in Family
Planning Service Provision edited by Exaltacion E. La mbe rte and Cristina A.
Rodriguez. Manila: Social Development Research Center, De La Salle University.
The paper summed up the overall results of a project entitled ―Research Practicum on the
Assessment of Quality of Care (QOC) in Family Planning Services‖ undertaken in 1995-
1998. The project provided a bi-annual research practicum/training program on the
assessment of QOC in FP services to practitioners and providers in various service
delivery points (SDPs) in the country. It was done in collabo ration with the DOH, NGOs,
and hospitals where participants were recruited. In this practicum, the participants were
trained on the QOC framework developed by Judith Bruce and on how to gather, analyze,
and write-up the data for the QOC research that were done in their chosen SDPs. In all,
59 providers participated in conducting QOC assessment: 43 from public facilities and 16
from NGO facilities. The majority of participants (73%) were nurses, followed by
physician (20%), program administrators/managers (5 %), and midwives (2%).The
methods utilized in the study were situation analyses and QOC assessment tools (like
The highlights presented included the following:
1. About the staff working at the SDPs, the majority (particularly nurses and midwives)
have been in the service for more than 10 years. Half (especially doctors and
midwives) have been in the FP program for 10 or more years.
2. FP program staff has perceived the following to be generally adequate:
FP training received, although limited to some types of contraceptive methods and
generally focused on the pill, IUD and condom.
Necessary equipment to deliver the services, although some necessary ones (such
as microscopes, forceps and flashlights) are not available at health units and
centers located particularly in rural areas.
Supplies and materials found at the SDPs.
3. However, the following areas are usually considered problematic or needing
Lack of maintenance and cleanliness (referred to as housekeeping) of equipment
in all types of facilities,
Need to keep orderly and accurate files and records.
Lack of clinic infrastructure needed for service provision, such as private areas for
examination and counseling.
Top-down (not participatory) process observed in planning and information flow.
Inadequate data to inform management plans and decisions.
4. Backed by FP program approval, service personnel provide clients with various types
of contraceptive methods, and the most predominantly offered are pills, combined
pills, condoms, IUDs, and injectables. Least predominantly provided include
spermicides, male and female sterilization, diaphragm, norplant, and NFP. Among the
providers, the doctors were revealed to be hesitant in provid ing FP services but they
did so nevertheless.
5. For spacing pregnancies, providers recommend IUD, injectables, condom, and
combined pills. For terminating childbearing, tubal ligation and vasectory are
suggested. Clients’ condition and preferences did not appear to be important
considerations for recommending a method.
6. Some restrictions are observed by health personnel in the provision of FP services.
Age was a consideration in offering combined pills, injectables, IUD, and ligation.
Marriage was required before prescribing pills, IUD and BTL. Spouse/partner consent
was required by a majority of the providers for BTL, IUD, and combined pills. In the
case of abortion which is considered illegal, it could be done only when the woman’s
life is in danger.
7. Although contraceptive methods are available and provided to clients, these are
not all sufficiently discussed by providers with their clients. Moreover, side
effects are not always presented in discussions and neither is there much
Asia Development Consultants, Inc. n.d. Survey of Knowledge, Attitudes and
Practices of Community Volunteer Workers on Health and Family Planning. Final
Report submitted to the Departme nt of Health (DOH) and the Australian
Inte rnational Development Assistance Bureau (AIDAB).
The report presents the findings of a survey on the knowledge, attitudes, and practices
(KAP) of community volunteer workers (CVWs), who are considered DOH frontliners in
realizing quality health for millions of Filipinos.
In general, the respondent CVWs were females, 40 years old or over, high school
graduates, without a steady source of income, and poor. As a whole, they were not
adequately trained or prepared for their work (only one- fourth was trained in FP; fewer
than this had trained in primary health care).
On the knowledge component, survey findings revealed CVWs to:
Have limited knowledge on the aims, target clientele, and guiding principles of
the Philippine FP Program.
Possess level of awareness about FP and maternal and child health (MCH)
services in their municipalities although their perceived roles in the health system
were limited to making client referrals, motivating community members to
participate in FP/MCH projects, and providing supplies and services to these
Be most conversant with messages about joint decision-making between husband
and wife regarding what methods to use for FP and the proper spacing of
Findings on CVWs’ attitudes showed them to have:
Strong sense of commitment to their job, in spite of not being financially and
materially well-compensated, as shown in their readiness to work beyond normal
hours, and their decision to go against the Church teachings on FP methods so
they can fulfill their role as CVWs.
Honesty about their shortcomings and willingness to undergo training or other
activities to improve their stock knowledge as CVWs.
Negative outlook towards their program targets in the community who are
believed to make their work most difficult.
With regard to CVWs’ practices, the study indicated that:
The CVWs do not practice what they preach about FP. Around 50% had not used
any FP method for the past three years because they felt they were quite old to be
Breastfeeding is, however, well-practiced by 90% of the CVWs. The study
attributed their 2-3 year child spacing to this practice.
They appear innovative and skillful in counteracting rumors and handling
misconceptions on FP, but lack the confidence to undertake FP counseling
sessions with clients. Hence, they expressed the need for more training on FP
methods and counseling.
They are good at using visual aids to enhance communication and learning
sessions with clients.
In view of these survey findings, the study recommended that the CVWs be trained to
increase their competency for delivering FP services and to further enhance their strong
work commitment. Using adult learning strategies, their training should focus on how FP
methods work, how these are used, and what the advantages and disadvantages of the
methods are, including their side effects. The core messages in FP and MCH that need to
be popularized by CVWs should be defined in the training. A system of monitoring the
CVWs’ implementation of knowledge and skills gained from the training and of
supporting their work (e.g., provision of adequate supplies) was viewed as essential to the
success of the training endeavors.
C. Client-Related Studies
This set has 11 reference materials which are dated between 1993 and 2004. The data
presented in these materials were the results of utilizing the secondary analysis (4 write-
ups done on 3 studies), review of literature (3 studies), survey method (3 studies, of which
2 are KAPs), and qualitative methods (1 KAP study using FGD and in-depth interview).
The main themes of these references are varied, but are generally clustered around
reasons or factors influencing women’s continuing or discontinued use/practice of
contraception particularly of the modern types. The specific themes (from earliest to
latest) in these sources are:
Reasons why women discontinue their FP practice (Choe, et. al., 1993)
Factors accounting for women’s unmet need (Casterline et. al., 1995 and
Population Council, 1996. Both references are on the same study.)
Rationale for male involvement in FP (Perez, 1997)
Understanding the cultural meanings attached to sex and sexuality as macro
context for FP (Tan, 1998)
Cultural values associated with children and pregnancy that may affect FP
(Jocano, 1998; underscoring is mine. I have noted that sources used for the book
appear to be generally several decades old so certain data may require
Factors accounting for FP clients choice of public or private (NGO) provider
facilities (Lamberte, et. al., 1999)
Reasons why more women practice FP in the Philippines (Kinkaid, 2000)
Clients’ knowledge, attitudes/perceptions, beliefs and practices (KAP) on FP
and population-related issues (ACNielsen, 2003; NFO Trends, 2004; and Pulse
Pulse Asia. January and February 2004 Ulat ng Bayan National Surveys on Family
Planning and Population Issues. March 4, 2004.
This is a Pulse Asia report on the results of its recent national survey on FP and
population issues. The survey respondents comprised 1,800 adult men and women who
were interviewed face-to- face.
The main highlights are the following.
Filipinos continue to consider FP as important. Almost all (97%) claimed it is
important to have the ability to control one’s fertility or to plan one’s family.
About three years earlier (December 2000 survey), only 94% said the same thing.
About 7 in 10 Filipinos believed that a fast increasing Philippine population
hinder’s the country’s development. Only 16% disagreed, while 13% were
Filipinos increasingly think that candidates favoring FP and population issues
ought to be supported in the coming elections. A majority (82-86%; compared to
69-71% in the 2000 survey) referred to candidates that favored couple’s free
choice of FP methods, a law or measure on population issues, a government
budget for FP, and a program on women’s health.
One in 2 Filipinos (50%) thought a candidate’s support of FP will determine that
candidate’s electoral victory. This view is highest in Northern and Central Luzon
(57%), particularly in rural areas (60%). Those who believe FP support will not
affect the candidate’s victory belonged to the upper socioeconomic classes. In
contrast, those who said the FP support will spell defeat on election day came
from rural Central and Eastern Visayas (20%).
Religion is not perceived to be a threat to FP supporters. Two-thirds of the
respondents opined that the church should not join in supporting or rejecting
candidates during elections. A third (33%) said their religion allows them to
decide on their electoral choices while close to a third (28%) reported that their
religion says nothing on this issue. However, 18% claimed their religion asks
them to support and vote for pro-FP candidates while 9% claimed the opposite
The overall findings of the February 2004 Ulat ng Bayan indicate that the Filipinos’
views on FP have not changed much, and that a bigger proportion of the respondents
express support for pro-FP candidates. A majority also believe that the church should not
take an active stance for or against candidates supportive of FP.
NFO Trends. January 2004. Project Lucent: Baseline Survey on Family Planning
Knowledge, Attitude and Practices among Filipino Men and Women. Report
prepared for The Social Acceptance Project-Family Planning (TSAP-FP).
This study is in support of the goal of The Social Acceptance Project to achieve an
―increase in percentage of the general public who strongly approve of and who have
endorsed FP practice to others.‖ One way to reach this goal is to reposition the concept of
FP through a multi- media campaign strategy to be developed under the project’s
―Behavior Change Component.‖ In order to determine the impact of this strategy,
baseline data will be needed on the public’s prevailing knowledge, attitudes, and
practices related to FP and FP methods, as well as information what could influence the
social acceptance of FP. Hence NFO Trends was commissioned to get the baseline data.
Data were gathered through structured questionnaires that the interviewer administered
face-to-face to respondents in three Metro cities (Quezon City, Cebu City, and Davao
City) and four key cities (Naga City, Legaspi City, Ormoc City, and Tacloban City) in
low contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) regions. For sensitive questions asked of
unmarried respondents, the ―sealed envelop technique‖ was used. ―The respondent
personally read the questionnaire and responded through codes which the interviewer
recorded. The interviewer did not know the questions and corresponding response, thus
eliciting more truthful responses.‖ A total number of respondents was 1,600 respondents-
-15-60 years old, both single and married, of both sexes, and belonging to all
The highlights of the study’s findings are:
Majority (65%) claim to have little knowledge about FP, or have heard of it but
do not know anything about it. Among those who claimed some or much
knowledge, the percentage is higher among females and those who are married or
Those who claimed some knowledge on FP associate it with specific FP methods
and with controlling or limiting the number of children. They believed that the
principal reason why people practice FP is to protect children’s welfare.
Although majority had claimed little knowledge on FP, when asked about
awareness of FP methods, 97% and 96% of the respondents are aware of condom
and oral pill, respectively. Awareness of withdrawal, calendar/rhythm, tubal
ligation, IUD, injectable, and vasectomy is also high (61-88%). Only a few know
about LAM, basal body temperature, and mucus/Billings.
Awareness of FP methods is obtained through varied sources, but mainly from
close friends or acquaintances, the television, and health centers.
FP is not a preferred topic of conversation, with only about one-fifth discussing it
principally with spouse/partner or acquaintance in the last three months. Those
who discuss it with spouse/partner did so frequently, willingly, and comfortably
although with not much encouragement from the other.
A great majority (96%) feel FP is important and beneficial to practicing couples
and their respective families.
However, only a small majority (less than three- fifths) of those who are married
or who live- in actually practice FP; the commonly used methods are the pill,
withdrawal, condom, and rhythm. The pill is associated with high effectiveness;
condom is a popular choice of the sexually active; and withdrawal and rhythm are
compatible with religious beliefs. The spouse/partner is considered to be the
major influence in the choice of an FP method for those in Metro areas. Other key
influences include close friends and health centers.
Information on FP is commonly obtained from health centers and the television.
Very few have heard of a popular individual making a public pronouncement on
FP in the last three months.
For married/living- in respondents, the important factors for choosing FP are
effectiveness in preventing pregnancy, safety (no harmful effects to health),
recommendation from medical personnel, spouse/partner approval, suitability
(hiyang), ease of use, and affordability. That FP should agree with their religious
belief came out to be the 11th most important factor (but still garnering 60-63%
responses in the Metro areas and in key cities in low CPR regions, respectively) in
choosing an FP method.
Watching television (86%) and listening to radio (56%) still comprise the
respondents’ more popular media habits.
ACNielsen. 2003. Project Dynasty: A Qualitative Study on Family Planning. Report
submitted to the Academy for Educational Development, Stre ngthening the Social
Acceptance of Family Planning in the Philippines (TSAP), April 21, 2003.
The research project was conducted in response to the need for undertaking segmentation
research and for looking in-depth into the needs, values, and motivations of target
segments concerning FP and sexuality. It is done in partnership with The Social
Acceptance Project to develop communication, advocacy, and social mobilization
strategies to reposition FP as relevant and appropriate to target segments.
This is a qualitative study utilizing focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with
predominantly lower class respondents found in Metro Manila, Cebu, and industrial areas
in Southern Tagalog. The FGDs were conducted with 21 full- sized groups (6-8
respondents each among married males and females) and 5 mini groups (3-4 respondents
each including single males and females); in-depth interviews were done with 42 single
males and females. Projective techniques were also used to gather information, which
took place from January 20-February 4, 2003.
The information sought by the study clustered around: (1) knowledge, attitudes,
perceptions, and beliefs about FP and contraceptive practice among target segments, (2)
about planning for parenthood and children, including values associated with family, FP,
and children, (3) benefits of FP that are valued by target segments, (4) constraints and
barriers to FP acceptance and use in terms of myths, misperceptions, taboos, fears, and
cultural norms, (5) perceptions of modern versus traditional methods and method users,
(6) channels of information/influence that impact on FP decisions of target segments.
The results are as follows.
The target segments are aware of most contraceptive practices and methods,
especially pills and condom, with accessibility and advertisement as factors
accounting for high awareness.
Users of withdrawal, pills, and condom are highly aware of the calendar method
and some think it is ―fail-safe’ when used in tandem with pills and condo m.
IUD, ligation, and vasectomy are not popular because of their perceived effects.
Recurring stories are told about IUD getting misplaced or getting entangled with
the penis. Ligation and vasectomy are permanent and ideal for older couples not
wanting another child.
Several factors may present barriers to trying out contraceptive methods:
awareness of the method, affordability, ease of use, fear of side effect, perceived
effect on users, comfort level of user, and accessibility.
Married males view unplanned pregnancy as a threat to the household’s financial
security, delaying hopes for family advancement, affecting parents’ ability to
provide for children’s good education or support their bid for independence,
hence, creating worries and stress in old age.
Married females have the same concerns as married men but emphasize that
family advancement is endangered so this compromises financial security.
Young adults view unexpected pregnancy as disrupting their education,
compromising their chances of getting good jobs and becoming independent,
limiting the time spent with friends, and jeopardizing their loving relationship
The study had the following recommendations.
Pay more attention to addressing recurring stories about perceived ill effects of
Fill the information vacuum about contraceptive methods with real and solid ones
that can override word-of- mouth misinformation.
Reorient health centers to effectively provide FP services to a wide and diverse
Do not ignore the male partners in the communication process when trying to
convert users of withdrawal and calendar methods to other more effective ones.
Finally, exploit the core values of family relationships, advancement, and
financial security to communicate FP as the ―life strategy‖ enabling one to
overcome life’s vicissitudes and hurdles.
In conclusion, the study also proposed certain messages, communication media, and
ancillary strategies (e.g., applying the route of ―telenovelas‖) to be used for different
Kinkaid, Lawre nce D. 2000. Why Wome n in the Philippines Practice Family
Planning: A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis. Pape r presented at the research
forum on “Why are more wome n in the Philippines Now Practicing Family
Planning,” sponsored by John Hopkins Unive rsity Population Communication
Services/Philippines and DOH, Manila, August 9, 2000.
The paper explains why Filipino women practice FP by reanalyzing data based on FGDs
done in 1991 and the 1996 national survey of Filipino women (both collected by a market
research agency, TRENDS-MBL).
The seven reasons and related issues that emerged from the secondary data analysis are:
1. Women want to prevent or delay pregnancy.
Most women (84%) want 2-4 children (average of 3.4), with younger ones
wanting three or fewer although the ideal number is moving towards two as
this is easy to support.
2. They want to help their husbands and immediate families.
Women’s priorities are children (first) and husbands (second); their health is
Having fewer children lets them work to supplement the family income.
3. They desire to feel better about themselves.
Practicing FP helps women to control their own lives, stay well- rested, and
engage in self- indulgence and entertainment.
4. They wish to improve their relationship with their husbands.
Unhampered by fear of pregnancy, couples experience a richer sex life and
better communication. Husbands’ willing participation (especially for less
effective methods) through encouragement and suppo rt of their wives’ FP
practice is necessary.
5. Because they can find a suitable FP method.
Women search for sure, safe and easy to adopt methods (at least the first two).
Safe methods are those most certain to prevent pregnancy; safe methods are
―risk- free‖ in terms of side effects and ―hiyang‖ (natural fit) to their bodies.
―Easy to adopt‖ methods are those that do not require remembering or a lot of
poking/looking into private parts.
Women have to weigh their fear of the scary side effects of pills, IUD and
sterilization, with their fear of the ineffectiveness of withdrawal, condoms,
and rhythm (considered the safest).
In the national survey, the most mentioned reason for using contraceptive was
because it was safe (42%); the least mentioned was because religion approved
of it (1%).
The survey also found that the greater number of modern methods women
could spontaneously recall, the greater the likelihood they used these methods.
So women were more likely to find a suitable method if they were familiar
with a greater number of methods.
6. Because other people encourage them to practice FP.
Women tend to use a method that other women whom they know use.
The survey showed that women who talked about FP to their spouses/partners,
and to other women, and who got their partners’ encouragement, were much
more likely to use/continue to use a modern contraceptive. The strongest
relationship was found for encouragement by one’s spouse/partner.
7. Because they can find confidential, quality health services.
A positive experience at the heath center leaves women with a positive
outlook towards FP.
In conclusion, the paper emphasized that ―ideational factors‖—what people think and say
to one another about fertility and family planning—strongly affect modern contraceptive
use. A national FP communication program can be designed to address: women’s need to
know how to achieve their fertility preferences, to find a contraceptive method that is
hiyang, to know and believe in the beneficial consequences of practicing FP, and to
receive encouragement from their husbands and support from other women.
Lamberte, Exaltacion, E., Roy M. Brooks, and Mark Sherman. 1999.
Unde rstanding Provider Choice of Family Planning Clients: Cons umer Intercept
Study. Manila: Social Development Research Center, De La Salle Unive rsity and
The Policy Project.
The Consumer Intercept Study aimed to identify policy reforms designed to encourage
increased participation of the private sector, particularly the Non-Governmental
Organizations (NGOs) in the FP program. Nationwide demographic and health surveys
had revealed that the public sector continues to be the overwhelming choice for sourcing
modern contraceptive methods which further burdens a resource-poor country. Hence the
study looked into the behavioural patterns of FP clients in selected public health facilities
(hospitals and community health offices) and their nearby NGO service delivery points in
urban areas to identify why they choose either source. Information was obtained through
face-to-face exit interview survey conducted among 1,025 FP clients in Baguio, Davao,
Cebu, Bacolod, Manila, and Quezon Cities. Data collection took place from May- July
In general, the study highlighted the following: (1) clients’ use of FP is based on rationa le
and informed decisions, (2) the reasons behind their behavioral patterns are related to
facility choice, services and methods, and (3) a majority of FP clients (around two-thirds)
in public facilities are willing to pay for contraceptive services and supplies within the
range of the prices being charged by NGOs.
Other main results are:
Virtually all FP clients are married, with an average of 2.7 living children.
Young, unmarried clients are not using public or NGO facilities; they either go to
other facilities for FP services or do not receive them at all.
The percentage of new FP acceptors is higher (54.4%).
Choice of NGO facilities is associated with income and expenditure patterns and
educational level: clients with higher income and better education tended to go to
Other factors affecting choice of facilities are geographical proximity, age, cost
and quality of services, and choice of contraceptive methods.
NGO facilities are not sufficiently differentiated from the public ones. NGO
providers are generally perceived as extensions of public sector facilities and the
former’s services as another form of subsidized care. NGOs however also use
some form of sliding schemes to accommodate poorer clients.
There is very little difference in client satisfaction level and quality of services
provided by type of facility.
The chosen contraceptive method is an indicator of facility choice. Public
hospitals were chosen for pills, IUDs, and tubal ligation; community health
offices for pills and injectables; and NGOs for pills and IUDs.
Nearly all clients have television and/or radio, indicating that mass
communication can be an effective mechanism to promote FP education and
In conclusion, the study identified strategies and policy interventions to increase private
sector participation in the FP program, as follows:
1) Increase the provision of technical and financial support to strengthen NGO
capabilities to provide FP services so they can differentiate themselves from
public sector facilities and target middle- and upper- middle income clients.
2) Promote NGO services that target public sector clients who are willing to pay
some amount for these services.
3) Increase efforts to better serve the reproductive health needs of the young adult
4) Shift clients out of public sector facilities by charging reasonable user fees for
public sector FP services.
Jocano, Felipe Landa. 1998. Anthropology of the Filipino People III: Filipino Social
Organization. Quezon City: PUNLAD Research House, Inc.
(Note: Only two chapters were found relevant to understanding the underlying
sociocultural reasons that could impede the contraceptive practices of Filipino family
Chapter 7 – The Child in Society, pp. 77-88
―That the child is much desired, wanted, and enjoyed is engrained in the Filipino
cultural psyche such that married adults naturally want children. This is one of the
reasons why despite a nationwide Family Planning Program, Filipino families
have relatively remained big. The child is viewed as an integral part of married
life. Without one, the marriage is considered a meaningless, unstable union.‖
Children are highly valued for six reasons:
As a source of happiness - They bring an ―indescribable feeling that gives ardor to
life‖ (known as ligaya). Their presence ―wipes away weariness or fatigue.‖ They
deepen the parents’ love for one another. They also provide moral strength during
times of suffering, grief and other misfortunes. Although parents admit that
children are an economic burden, they also claim there are tremendous social and
psychic rewards derived from meeting the challenges of rearing a big brood.
As a gift of God – They are ―the grace derived from divine blessings and the
results of clean, honest living.‖ In rural areas, couples with many children are
seen to be ―living in the grace of God.‖ Having children out of wedlock or by a
mistress and practicing abortion are not included in the folk assessment of what
constitutes grace. A woman’s sterility and a man’s impotence are supernatural
punishments for living out of grace.
An evidence of love – They are the ―cementing force‖ in the couple’s relationship
so a childless union is not considered strong. It is believed that the absence of
children makes husbands unfaithful. ―The equation of love with childbirth
reinforces the machismo complex as a dominant male norm.‖ The child is a man’s
proof of his love for a woman.
Must have an even sex distribution – This is rooted in the concept of balance in
nature and human life, and loosely associated with the good fortune (buenas). If
couples have children of the same sex (all boys or all girls), childbearing in not
complete until a child of the opposite sex is born. So the number of children
increases. Having more girls indicates the father is a philanderer and the female
children were to become ―payment for his debts‖ against those women he
As economic investments – It is believed that families who lack material wealth
are instead blessed with many children. The greater the ir number, the more
chances that one of them will succeed in life to lift parents from poverty. Children
also free the mother from household chores or the father from work in the fields
in rural settings.
As a necessity to maintain family lineage – Children ensure that the family line
will not die out.
Chapter 8 – Pregnancy and Childbirth, pp. 89-105.
Pregnancy is widely recognized both as a biological reality (conception) and a social
phenomenon (result of sexual coupling). It is also viewed as a supernatural phenomenon
because ―those whom God wants to punish, He does not allow pregnancy to take place;
those whom he rewards, He lavishes with many children.‖ The belief that prayer and
ritual performance (e.g., to patron saints) can cause pregnancy is also an affirmation of
faith in God.
Pregnancy is not regarded as possible without the compatibility between the male and
female fluids (known as semilya). One way to avoid pregnancy is therefore to prevent the
male semilya from flowing into the women’s womb, as believed to happen when sexual
intercourse is done in an upright position. One other reason why pregnancy may not
happen despite coitus is because it is not ―the will of God.‖
Although children are highly desired, people practice birth control. This is resorted to
when childbirth endangers the mother’s life. In urban areas, it is deliberately done as soon
as couples have reached their desired number of children. ―Unwanted pregnancies are
terminated through abortion.‖
Among the traditional birth control methods are:
Coitus interruptus – This is a prevalent practice among many rural couples. But it
can cause either wife or husband to suffer from physical tension. Thus there are
men who prefer their wives to be pregnant than for them to suffer. (The author
noted that this could be simply a verbal rationalization or part of a man’s coping
behavior in achieving satisfaction in intimate relations.)
Displacement of the matris (womb) – This is the best known method and widely
attested to as effective. It is achieved through massage by a hilot (traditional birth
Use of modern drugs such as aspirin and Cortal tablets, soapsuds, vaginal creams
are known to some women.
Modern contraceptive methods like pills and IUD are known to women but
unpopularly used for reasons not investigated by the author.
Use of herbs and treebarks believed to have bisa (power) to prevent pregnancy –
Recognized to be tantamount to abortion in many cases as many women take an
infusion derived from these plants as soon as menstruation fails to come on the
Tan, Michael L. 1998. Sex and Sexuality. Policy Research Briefs, Series 1998-2.
Que zon City: Cente r for Wome n’s Studies Foundation Inc., University of the
This is part of the series of policy research briefs prepared for the project ―Women-
Centered Participatory Research and Development for Women’s Health: A Women’s
Consortium Project,‖ which aimed to (1) strengthen gender-sensitive research and
women-centered methodologies and integrate these into policy, planning and service
provision of women’s health, and (2) enhance the awareness of policy makers and
implementers, both at the national and international levels, on the possible adverse effects
of gender-blind and non-participatory development interventions in the area of
reproductive health care.
In this research brief, the author discussed five points related to research on sexuality.
The more relevant issues raised are as follows.
1. What meanings people give to ―sexuality‖ (a term not found in any of the Philippine
It encompasses the qualitative aspects of sex;, is much about words, images, ritual
and fantasy; and is extremely personal and intimate.
It is socially constructed in particular cultural and historical settings.
In relation to RH, it has four dimensions—sexual partnerships, sexual acts, sexual
meanings, and sexual drives and enjoyment.
2. Exploring sexuality to understand reproductive intentions
In FP, reproductive intentions include: how many children people aspire to have,
at what intervals, and of what sex.
The question of why people have sex is no longer confined to procreation but
includes love, lust, pleasure, curiosity, duty, responsibility, power.
3. Understanding sexual meanings
Beneath contraceptive prevalence rates and episodes of unprotected sex are
decisions and choices that draw on a constellation of meanings, with sex being
constantly interpreted and reinterpreted.
Sexuality’s meanings are rooted in self- image: perceptions of the body, how
different parts work, names of and unnamed body parts, awareness of menstrual
cycle, interpretation of changes in the body including body fluids and discharges,
and interpretation of fertility and infertility.
4. Understanding sexuality’s context
Individual acts and desires have a macro/social context that must be understood to
get to the root causes of many reproductive and sexual health problems. The
macro context includes knowledge and perceptions outside the area of sex and
sexuality, at times involving philosophical concerns, and including different
levels of social relations.
5. Sexuality and gender
Researching sexuality also looks into issues of unequal gender statuses and the
oppression or empowerment of women, as well as intersubjectivity (shared
meanings between genders that are concretized in gender relations).
In conclusion, the author emphasized the need to use more qualitative research methods
to understand sexuality, in particular:
Conduct less of the usual KAPB (knowledge, attitudes, practices, behaviors) type
of surveys which tend to be normative, and go for more participatory and
humanistic approaches that can unearth the complexities of sexuality.
When used, surveys need to be part of a package of varied methodologies of the
anthropological field, such as life and sexual histories, focus group discussions,
and in-depth interviews.
Researchers must be introspective, utilizing content analysis of popular culture
(e.g., sex advice columns or media coverage of rape cases) and should develop
sensitivities to know not only what is said but also what is not allowed to be said
(e.g., abstinence and celibacy are as much a part of sexuality as having sex).
The author cautioned against allowing sexuality research to be manipulative, serving
social marketing programs to peddle condoms and contraceptives. Rather, it should
contribute to building a moral, not moralistic, framework that allows people to achieve
their full potential as sexual beings.
Perez, Aurora E. 1997. Making Space for Filipino Men in Fertility Management.
Policy Research Briefs, Series 1997-1. Quezon City: Center for Women’s Studies
Foundation Inc., Unive rsity of the Philippines.
This is the first in a series of policy research briefs prepared as part of the project
―Women-Centered Participatory Research and Development for Women’s Health: A
Women’s Consortium Project,‖ which aimed to (1) strengthen gender-sensitive research
and women-centered methodologies and integrate these into policy, planning and service
provision of women’s health, and (2) enhance the awareness of policy makers and
implementers, both at the national and international levels, on the possible adverse effects
of gender-blind and non-participatory development interventions in the area of
reproductive health care.
This research brief focused on the gender roles and the status of married Filipino men and
women and its influence on the levels and trends of contraceptive use. Discussions were
grouped on the following points.
1. Reasons for involving men and their role in fertility decisions
Filipino men are strongly ―pronatalist‖ because the pressure to have children is
greater on the husband than on the wife for the children are a testimony to the
husband’s good moral character and virility, and compelling sociological and
institutional factors shape the husbands’ profound authority in the home.
Husbands may claim unilateral power in FP decisions but prefer to avoid
responsibility for implementing such decisions. They are more willing to choose a
method in the future if it was female-specific such as the pill or tubal ligation.
At ages 40-44, twice more men than women want more children.
Husbands’ lack of support for FP is a greater reason for dropping out of the
program than the acceptors’ attitude.
Husbands decided over their wives’ bodies and fertility in resolving conflicts over
how many and when to have children.
Husbands may still maintain dominance in the dyadic relationship, however,
women are beginning to assert their power over fertility regulation. In a study by
Sanchez and Chan (1997), most of the wives of men who claimed their decision
had prevailed on who decides on contraceptive use, reported it was the women
themselves who decided most of the time.
2. Discordant men and women’s views/practices of contraception
The contraceptive prevalence rate for women is higher than for men as it is a
generally accepted view that contraception is women’s responsibility.
The initiative to contracept is mainly the wife’s, yet a significant proportion of
couples used coital-dependent methods such as withdrawal, condom, and calendar
rhythm that need both the husband and wife’s cooperation to succeed.
Frequent couple’s disagreements over the desirability of specific pregnancies is
one reason why the count of unintended pregnancies remains large.
3. Whether contraceptives imperil one’s health
Husbands more than wives viewed pills and ligation as bringing more health risks
to women than pregnancy. There are more couples with such views among non-
users and among users of traditional methods.
Men and women frequently regard vasectomy as most harmful because it would
allegedly severe nerves that reduce men’s physical strength.
Rhythm is perceived by males and females to have the least health side-effects as
women were not required to ingest any foreign substance into their bodies.
More females than males prefer pills although wives believe that pills carry some
physical discomforts like headaches, nausea, and vomiting.
Women consistently rate each method more harshly than men, and wives are
more negative than their husbands even about methods that directly involve men.
Modern methods like the pill and IUD are viewed more negatively than traditional
methods like withdrawal and calendar rhythm.
4. Whether couples agree on future intentions to use contraceptives
Among non- users, women are generally more inclined than men to use
contraceptives in the future owing to the fact that women experience a respite
from pregnancy and child care when they successfully use contraceptives.
Compared to women, a substantially larger proportion among men see no benefit
In general, spouses are largely in agreement about the intention to use
contraceptives in the future, but spouses who disagree in their views of
contraception were less likely to agree about future use.
The author concluded that spousal disagreement affects contraceptive intentions and
behavior, and blocks women’s own desired fertility. It is thus important to focus on
conflict resolution among Filipino couples who jointly decide whether or not to use
contraception and which contraceptive method to use. Men must be sensitized to the
health risks their wives face due to closely spaced births and encouraged to assume more
responsibility in fertility regulation, particularly in promoting adequate birth spacing.
Population Council. Summe r 1996. Reasons for Unmet Need for Family Planning:
Findings from the Philippines. Population Briefs 2 (3).
This is brief is based on one of the first studies of this nature conducted by Population
Council demographers John Casterline and Ann Biddlecom and University of the
Philippines demographer Aurora Perez. It marks an important effort to remedy a ―serious
deficiency of systematic research on reasons for unmet need.‖
Unmet need for FP can be defined as women who do not want to get pregnant but do not
practice contraception. The researchers hypothesized that unmet need is caused not only
by inadequate FP services, but also by sociocultural obstacles to contraceptive use. This
is among the first studies to demonstrate the relationship between sociocultural factors
and unmet need. It is being used as a model for research on unmet need in Egypt, Ghana,
Pakistan and Zambia.
Using qualitative methods (FGD and in-depth interviews), the study’s findings revealed
that unmet need is not significantly attributable to any one factor, but to five. These are:
strength of woman’s fertility preferences, husband's fertility preferences, woman’s
perceived risk of conceiving, wife or husband’s perceived health effects of contraception,
and wife or husband’s acceptability of family planning. But no marked differentials in
reported access to services were found between those using and not using contraception.
The study’s findings have the following implications: (1) it is essential to understand the
multi- faceted nature of unmet need, (2) better services not more services can help reduce
unmet need, (3) husband’s play a key role in creating unmet need in women, so their
views on childbearing and contraception should be ascertained and they must be part of
programs that reduce unmet need or empower women to act on this need.
Casterline, John B., Aurora Pere z, and Ann E. Biddlecom. 1995. Factors Unde rlying
Unmet Need for Family Planning in the Philippines. Paper presented at the Annual
Meeting of the Population Association of America, San Francisco, April 6-8, 1995.
This paper explored the causes of unmet need for FP where little research had been
undertaken. It analyzed quantitative and qualitative data collected in 1993 from currently
married women and their husbands in two Philippine provinces. It sought to examine four
hypotheses, namely: (1) unmet need is an artifact of inaccurate measurement of fertility
preferences and/or contraceptive practice; (2) unmet need reflects weakly-held fertility
preferences; (3) those classified as having unmet need perceive themselves to be at low
risk for conceiving; and (4) unmet need is due to excessive costs of contracepting,
including social unacceptability, husbands’ opposition, fear of health side effects, and
inadequate FP services.
The analysis showed that unmet need is not an artifact of the survey measurement but
caused by some socio-cultural factors. Evidence particularly from qualitative interviews
revealed that the most important factor accounting for unmet need is the husband,
particularly his fertility preferences and perception of health side effects. Unequal power
in initiating and refusing sexual relations with the husband was the dist inctive
characteristic of women with unmet need. Husbands’ domination was found to
complicate and exacerbate the other factors identified in the conceptualization of unmet
Also substantially important was the women’s view of the acceptability of contracepting,
their perceived risk of conceiving, and for a smaller subset of samples, their perceived
detrimental health side effects.
The study found inadequate FP services to carry little weight in determining unmet need.
But then, it did not test the potential impact of intensified and improved FP services as
this was not in the design.
The study brought to light evidence from qualitative data that there are many overlaps
and linkages among the identified causal factors of unmet need. It acknowledged that the
current analysis was deficient as it did not allow more explicitly for overlaps and
linkages, but such relationships among the factors served to inspire further thinking about
the underlying structure of causes of unmet need.
Choe, Minja Kim, Zelda Zablan, Rufino Gealogo, and Andre w Kantne r. September
1993. Contraceptive Use Discontinuation in the Philippines: Components and
Covariates. Quezon City: Population Institute, Unive rsity of the Philippines and
Hawaii: East West Center.
The researchers explained why the contraceptive prevalence rate in the Philippines is
lower than in neighboring countries, whereas its share of traditional method use is
relatively high. Previous studies had also shown that contraceptive use discontinuation,
particularly for the pill, was high by international standards. Thus the researchers
undertook a study on this phenomenon.
Using secondary analysis, they examined data from the 1986 Contraceptive Prevalence
Survey of the University of the Philippines-Population Institute. The survey covered
interviews with 18,468 currently- married women aged 15-44 years. Their complete
pregnancy histories were collected, along with retrospective calendar information on
monthly status of pregnancy and FP use from January 1983-June 1986/1987. For each
woman, the survey data collected spanned a period of at least 3.5 years. However, for
this study only data within a one-year period were examined.
Their findings showed the following discontinuation rates of women after 12 months of
Pill users - 27.4%
IUD users - 5.8% (lower than international experience)
Traditional method users: Rhythm – 19.6%; 24.2% when pill is combined with
Withdrawal – 27.4%
The study also found women users of traditional methods to have experienced high levels
of accidental pregnancy (failure of contraception) but relatively low levels of
dissatisfaction. However, since these methods are likely to remain popular, FP programs
should exert greater efforts to provide better instruction on their use.
The problem with discontinuation in the use of modern methods like the pill and IUD
could be addressed by providing improved follow- up services to ensure women’s proper
use of the methods, offer prompt remedy for side effects especially for IUD acceptors,
and provide counseling about alternative methods. FP programs should also strengthen
outreach, pay special attention to new users, and carry a range of contraceptive methods
which include traditional ones that do not require supplies and services. Finally, more
effective education and counseling on both program and non-program methods should be
ACNielsen. 2003. Project Dynasty: A Qualitative Study on Family Planning. Report
submitted to the Academy for Educational Development, Strengthening the Social
Acceptance of Family Planning in the Philippines (TSAP), April 21, 2003.
Asia Development Consultants, Inc. n.d. Survey of Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices
of Community Volunteer Workers on Health and Family Planning. Final Report
submitted to the Department of Health (DOH) and the Australian International
Development Assistance Bureau (AIDAB).
Bailen, Jerome B. and Donald E Morisky. September 1974. Traditional Birth Attendants
(Hilots) and Modern Family Planning in Marinduque. Quezon City: University of the
Philippines-Department of Anthropology.
Casterline, John B., Aurora Perez, and Ann E. Biddlecom. 1995. Factors Underlying
Unmet Need for Family Planning in the Philippines. Paper presented at the Annual
Meeting of the Population Association of America, San Francisco, April 6-8, 1995.
Choe, Minja Kim, Zelda Zablan, Rufino Gealogo, and Andrew Kantner. September 1993.
Contraceptive Use Discontinuation in the Philippines: Components and Covariates.
Quezon City: Population Institute, University of the Philippines and Hawaii: East West
Costello, Marilou, Marlina Lacuesta, Saumya Ramarao, and Anrudh Jain. December
2001. A Client-Centered Approach to Family Planning: The Davao Pro ject. Studies in
Family Planning 32 (4): 302-314.
Costello, Marilou, Virginia Miralao, Ma. Teresa Manganar, and Saniata Masulit. 2001. A
Rapid Field Appraisal of Reproductive Health Care Needs and Available Reproductive
Health Services in the Philippines. New York: Population Council.
Henry, Rebecca. 2001. Contraceptive Practice in Quirino Province, Philippines:
Experiences of Side Effects. Manila: University of the Philippines Population Institute
and University of La Sallette. Calverton, Maryland: Macro International Inc.
Jocano, Felipe Landa. 1998. Anthropology of the Filipino People III: Filipino Social
Organization. Quezon City: PUNLAD Research House, Inc.
Kinkaid, Lawrence D. 2000. Why Women in the Philippines Practice Family Planning:
A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis. Paper presented at the research forum on ―Why
are more women in the Philippines Now Practicing Family Planning,‖ sponsored by John
Hopkins University Population Communication Services/Philippines and DOH, Manila,
August 9, 2000.
Lamberte, Exaltacion E. 1998. Assessing Quality of Care Provision in Family Planning
Services: Issues and Lessons Learned. In Improving Quality of Care in Family Planning
Services: Conference Proceedings of the Quality of Care in Family Planning Service
Provision edited by Exaltacion E. Lamberte and Cristina A. Rodriguez. Manila: Social
Development Research Center, De La Salle University. Pp. 7-21.
Lamberte, Exaltacion, E., Loyd Brendan P. Norella, Jose Alberto S. Reyes, and Cristina
A. Rodriguez. 2004. Quality of Family Planning Counseling: Lens from Stakeholders.
Manila: De La Salle University Press, Inc.
Lamberte, Exaltacion, E., Roy M. Brooks, and Mark Sherman. 1999. Understanding
Provider Choice of Family Planning Clients: Consumer Intercept Study. Manila: Social
Development Research Center, De La Salle University and The Policy Project.
NFO Trends. April 2004. Project Clarity: A Census and KAP Among Health Providers.
Report prepared for the Academy for Educational Development (AED)-The Social
Acceptance Project-Family Planning (TSAP-FP) Division.
NFO Trends. January 2004. Project Lucent: Baseline Survey on Family Planning
Knowledge, Attitude and Practices among Filipino Men and Women. Report prepared for
The Social Acceptance Project-Family Planning (TSAP-FP).
Perez, Aurora E. 1997. Making Space for Filipino Men in Fertility Management. Policy
Research Briefs, Series 1997-1. Quezon City: Center for Women’s Studies Foundation
Inc., University of the Philippines.
Population Council. September 2001. Reproductive Health Needs and Services Assessed
in the Philippines. Population Briefs 7 (3).
Population Council. September 2002. Quality of Care: Improving Provider-Client
Interactions in the Philippines. Population Briefs 8 (2).
Population Council. Summer 1996. Reasons for Unmet Need for Family Planning:
Findings from the Philippines. Population Briefs 2 (3).
Population Council-Frontiers in Reproductive Health. September 2002. Services Improve
Quality of Care but Fail to Increase FP Continuation. OR Summary 30: Philippines and
Senegal Quality of Care.
Pulse Asia. January and February 2004 Ulat ng Bayan National Surveys on Family
Planning and Population Issues. March 4, 2004.
Ramarao, Saumya, Marlina Lacuesta, Marilou Costello, Blesilda Pangolibay, and Heidi
Jones. June 2003. The Link Between Quality of Care and Contraceptive Use.
International Family Planning Perspectives 29(2):76-83.
Tan, Michael L. 1998. Sex and Sexuality. Policy Research Briefs, Series 1998-2. Quezon
City: Center for Women’s Studies Foundation Inc., University of the Philippines.
The Social Acceptance Project-Family Planning. (n.d.) Secondary Review: Barriers to
Modern Contraceptive Use in the Philippines. Unpublished paper.
Yuchengco Center. June 2004. Assessment of Family Planning Clinics in the Industry.
Report submitted to The Social Acceptance Project-Family Planning. Manila: De La
PRELIMINARY LIST OF GAPS IN THE RESEARCH
LIST OF GAPS IN THE RESEARCH
Providers as members of social networks
How religion acts as an influence to providers
The influence of indigenous body concepts on providers
The effect of incorporating Philippine clients’ concepts of quality of care
(i.e., locally defined quality of care) in service delivery on client
satisfaction, discontinuation and demand creation
For clients: identifying the body/health/illness concepts that influence
family planning use and are perpetuated by traditional healers and their
influence on client behavior (only three studies and do not cover all
Whether providers, including BHWs and midwives, perpetuate local body
concepts that can influence contraceptive use and continuation
The factors that contribute to the TSAP KAP results that industrial zone
providers seem to lag behind other providers of family planning services
The ability to generalize from existing counseling studies, since most
counseling studies have been conducted in Luzon; and secondarily in
Specific provider behaviors that interfere with provision of a full range of
methods and quality (from the medical as well as the clients’
In general, the components of provider bias have not been teased apart. The TANGO
Project has undertaken some market research to attempt this and TSAP commissioned
some interesting qualitative research, but much more remains to be done.