Objectives: To compare two post-abortion family planning (FP) service packages on contraceptive use and repeat abortion rate among young women in three cities in China.
Methods: In this cluster-randomized trial, one FP service package included provision of limited information and referral to existing FP services, and the other, more comprehensive, package consisted--in addition to the above simple package--of individual counselling, free provision of contraceptive materials, and involvement of the male partner. Eight matched pairs of hospitals were certified by centralized randomization. Women undergoing abortion were followed up for six months, and data were collected in two rounds, before and after the intervention.
Results: We followed a total of 2336 women younger than 25 years (555 before and 555 after the simple intervention package; 634 before and 592 after the comprehensive intervention package). Both packages increased use of any contraceptive method, but the comprehensive approach also increased use of more effective methods. Odds ratios for consistent and correct use of condoms were 2.32 (95% confidence interval 1.55-3.46) and 2.78 (1.81-4.26), respectively, compared with the simple package. The rates of unwanted pregnancies and repeat abortions were somewhat reduced for both packages, with no significant statistical difference between them.
Conclusion: Couples who received the comprehensive post-abortion FP service appear to use more effective contraceptive methods and show better compliance.