A multilevel analysis of the effects of a reproductive health programme that encouraged informed choice of contraceptive method rather than use of officially preferred methods, China 2003-2005

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Journal Article
Population Studies, 2010, 64 (2), pp. 105 - 115
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Historically, the Chinese government's family planning (FP) policy has emphasized post-partum IUD use after first birth and sterilization after subsequent births. Was the influence of this policy-driven programme on women's contraceptive choices weakened by a reproductive health intervention programme based on the idea of enabling and encouraging clients to make an informed choice? Multilevel analyses of cross-sectional data from baseline (2003) and endline (2005) surveys conducted as part of the evaluation of a large-scale UNFPA RH/FP programme show significant reductions in the uptake of methods emphasized by official policy between the two surveys. But county-level effects are highly significant, suggesting the continuation of a strong exogenous influence on women's choices. The results suggest that, while the intervention had the effect of weakening the top-down approach towards promoting methods, family planning workers continued to be influential in promoting sterilization for women at higher parities. © 2010 Population Investigation Committee.
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