Objectives: This study was undertaken to determine the relative efficacy of home visitation with and without husband participation on the use of modern contraception in Ethiopia.
Methods: A randomized field trial of a family planning education intervention using home visitation with and without husband participation was conducted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from August 1990 to December 1991 and included a 12-month postintervention follow-up. A total of 266 experimental and 261 control subjects were entered, of whom 91.7% and 88.9%, respectively, were followed through 12 months.
Results: A greater proportion of couples in the experimental group were practicing modern contraception at 2 months (25% vs 15%) and 12 months (33% vs 17%) following the home visit intervention. By 12 months following the home visits, experimental subjects were less likely to have defaulted and more likely to have started using modern contraception following an initial delay.
Conclusions: The inclusion of husbands in family planning programs will result in relevant increases in the use of modern contraception. However, there exists an important "sleeper" effect to the education intervention, reflected by a delay of greater than 2 months in the initiation of modern contraception for most couples.