Journal article

Community Health Workers' Provision of Family Planning Services in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review of Effectiveness

Valerie K Scott, Lindsey B Gottschalk, Kelsey Q Wright, Claire Twose, Meghan A Bohren, Megan E Schmitt, Nuriye Ortayli



This systematic review evaluates the strength of the evidence that community health workers' (CHW) provision of family planning (FP) services in low- and middle-income countries is effective. In a search of eight databases, articles were screened by study design and outcome measure and ranked by strength of evidence. Only randomized trials, longitudinal studies with a comparison group, and pre-test/post-test studies met inclusion criteria. A total of 56 studies were included. Of those studies with relevant data, approximately 93 percent indicated that CHW FP programs effectively increased the use of modern contraception, while 83 percent reported an improvement in knowledge and attitudes con..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Amy Tsui and Juncal Plazaola-Castano for their guidance and support of this work. We also thank Hannah Lantos, Mengying Lee, Laura Hinson, and Anushree Ray for their significant research assistance. This work was presented at the 2013 International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13 November 2013. Funding support was provided by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).