This study assesses the quality of Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data regarding self-reported current use of the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM). LAM is an important modern contraceptive method that, when practiced correctly, has a 98 percent effectiveness rate six-months postpartum. The objectives of this study are to examine the accuracy of self-reported LAM use, compared with the constructed correct-practice variable, and to explore differentials in accuracy measures by characteristics at the individual and survey level by analyzing data from 73 DHSs conducted in 45 countries between 1998 and 2011. Findings reveal that only 26 percent of reported LAM users meet the criteria for correct LAM practice. We discuss the implications for future DHS data collection and for family planning and maternal and child health programming.
© 2013 The Population Council, Inc.