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Effect of Deploying Trained Community Based Reproductive Health Nurses (CORN) on Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) Use in Rural Ethiopia: A Cluster Randomized Community Trial: Effect of Deploying Trained Community Based Reproductive Health Nurses
Abstract and Figures
To investigate the effect of innovative means to distribute LARC on contraceptive use, we implemented a three arm, parallel groups, cluster randomized community trial design. The intervention consisted of placing trained community‐based reproductive health nurses (CORN) within health centers or health posts. The nurses provided counseling to encourage women to use LARC and distributed all contraceptive methods. A total of 282 villages were randomly selected and assigned to a control arm (n = 94) or 1 of 2 treatment arms (n = 94 each). The treatment groups differed by where the new service providers were deployed, health post or health center. We calculated difference‐in‐difference (DID) estimates to assess program impacts on LARC use. After nine months of intervention, the use of LARC methods increased significantly by 72.3 percent, while the use of short acting methods declined by 19.6 percent. The proportion of women using LARC methods increased by 45.9 percent and 45.7 percent in the health post and health center based intervention arms, respectively. Compared to the control group, the DID estimates indicate that the use of LARC methods increased by 11.3 and 12.3 percentage points in the health post and health center based intervention arms. Given the low use of LARC methods in similar settings, deployment of contextually trained nurses at the grassroots level could substantially increase utilization of these methods.
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