Competency assessment of the medical interns and nurses and documenting prevailing practices to provide family planning services in teaching hospitals in three states of India

PLoS One. 2019 Nov 6;14(11):e0211168. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211168. eCollection 2019.


Objectives: The objectives of the study were to assess the knowledge and skills of medical interns and nurses regarding family planning (FP) services, and document the prevailing FP practices in the teaching hospitals in India.

Study design: A cross-sectional study was conducted in three states (Delhi, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra) of India, among randomly selected 163 participants, including medical interns (n = 81) and in-service nurses (n = 82), during 2017. The semi-structured, pre-tested interview schedule, was used to assess the knowledge and status of training received; and objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) based checklist was used to evaluate the skills.

Results: About 60% of the interns and 48% of the nurses knew more than five contraceptives that could be offered to the clients. About 22% (11.1% interns and 33.3% nurses) respondents believed that contraceptives should not be given to a married woman coming alone, and 31.9% (17.3% interns and 46.3% nurses) respondents reported that it was illegal to provide contraceptives to unmarried people. Nearly 43.3% interns and 69.5% nurses refused to demonstrate intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) insertion in the dummy uterus as per OSCE, and among those who did, 12.3% interns and 18.3% nurses had failed. About 63% interns and 63.4% of nurses had observed IUCD insertion, and 12.3% interns and 17.1% had performed IUCD insertion, during their training.

Conclusions: Knowledge and skills of interns and nurses regarding FP services were inadequate. The medical training during graduation or internship, and during the job, was found to be inadequate to provide quality FP services as per guidelines of nursing/medical council of India and Government of India on FP.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Contraceptive Agents
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Planning Services* / education
  • Family Planning Services* / methods
  • Family Planning Services* / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Intrauterine Devices
  • Male
  • Nurses*
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptive Agents

Grants and funding

This study was supported technically and financially by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), New Delhi, Country Office [Global Programming Systems (GPS) ID: 83059; Reference: IND8U303, dated 4th October 2017]. The National Program Officer (co-author Iyengar K), at UNFPA, had provided technical inputs in the study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation of the results, report writing and the decision to submit the article for publication.