Assessing quality of family planning counseling and its determinants in Kenya: Analysis of health facility exit interviews

PLoS One. 2021 Sep 10;16(9):e0256295. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0256295. eCollection 2021.


Background: Available evidence suggests that provision of quality of care in family planning services is crucial to increasing uptake and continuation of use of contraception. Kenya achieved a modern contraceptive prevalence rate of 60% in 2018, surpassing its 2020 target of 58%. With the high prevalence, focus is geared towards improved quality of family planning services. The objective of this study is to examine the quality of family planning counseling and its associated factors in health facilities in Kenya.

Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis of the 2019 Kenya Performance Monitoring and Action, client exit data of women who had received family planning services. Quality of counseling was assessed using the Method Information Index Plus. We conducted a multivariable ordinal logistic regression analysis of data from 3,731 women to establish determinants of receiving quality family planning services.

Results: The Method Information Index Plus score for higher-quality counseling was 56.7%, lower-quality counseling 32.4%, and no counseling 10.9%. Women aged 15-24 years (aOR = 0.69, 95% CI = 0.56-0.86, p = 0.001) had lower odds of receiving better counseling compared to women aged 35 years and above. Those with no education (aOR = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.33-0.82, p = 0.005), primary (aOR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.44-0.71, p<0.001) and secondary (aOR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.65-0.98, p = 0.028) were less likely to receive better counseling compared to those with tertiary education. Women who received long acting and reversible contraception methods (aOR = 1.75, 95% CI = 1.42-2.17, p<0.001), and those who were method switchers (aOR = 1.24, 95% CI = 1.03-1.50, p = 0.027), had a higher likelihood of receiving better quality of counseling as compared to those on short-term methods and those who were continuers, respectively.

Conclusion: The quality of family planning counseling in Kenya is still sub-optimal considering that some women receive no form of counseling at service delivery point. There is need to review the existing FP guidelines and training packages to increase focus on the quality of counseling services offered by health providers. Social accountability strategies that empower women to demand quality services should be included in community-level family planning interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraception / methods*
  • Contraception Behavior
  • Counseling / standards*
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards*
  • Family Planning Services / standards*
  • Female
  • Health Facilities / standards*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Health Care / standards*
  • Sex Education / standards*
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding

The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.