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, 63 (5), 267-75

Assessing the Acceptability, Service Delivery Requirements, and Use-Effectiveness of the Diaphragm in Colombia, Philippines, and Turkey


Assessing the Acceptability, Service Delivery Requirements, and Use-Effectiveness of the Diaphragm in Colombia, Philippines, and Turkey

A Bulut et al. Contraception.


The diaphragm is not available in many countries, despite the recommendations of numerous authors that it has important advantages as a woman-controlled method that offers some protection against sexually transmitted diseases, and one that is safe and free of side effects. An interagency team collaborated to introduce the diaphragm in Colombia, the Philippines, and Turkey, using the same protocol to assess the acceptability, service delivery requirements and use-effectiveness of the method. Eighteen public and private sector service delivery sites were involved and a total of 550 women were enrolled in the study. Provider training aimed to improve the quality of care with which all methods were delivered and included counseling about sexuality and reproductive health risks. The cumulative 12-month pregnancy rate of 10.1 (SE 1.7) per 100 woman-years is on the low end of previous studies of the diaphragm, and the 12-month continuation rate (57.2 [SE 2.4] per 100) compares favorably with that for oral contraceptives and the intrauterine device. Focus group discussions conducted with clients and providers indicated that the method was an important alternative for some women, particularly those who had experienced health problems with other methods or were unable to negotiate condom use with their partners. Provider biases diminished as they observed the strategic niche that the diaphragm filled for their clients. While providing the diaphragm requires training and good client-provider interaction, the requirements are consistent with those called for in the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD, 1994). With proper attention to quality of care, the diaphragm can be successfully offered in resource-poor settings.

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