Peer-Informed Learning on Increasing Contraceptive Knowledge Among Women in Rural Haiti
Contraceptive prevalence in Haiti remains low despite extensive foreign aid targeted at improving family planning.  Earlier studies have found that peer-informed learning have been successful in promoting sexual and reproductive health. [2-5] This pilot project was implemented as a three-month, community-based, educational intervention to assess the impact of peer education in increasing contraceptive knowledge among women in Fondwa, Haiti. Research investigators conducted contraceptive information trainings to pre-identified female leaders of existing women’s groups in Fondwa, who were recruited as peer educators (n=4). Later, these female leaders shared the knowledge from the training with the test participants in the women’s group (n=23) through an information session. Structured surveys measuring knowledge of contraceptives were conducted with all participants before the intervention began, at the end of the intervention, and four weeks after the intervention. The surveys measured general contraceptive knowledge, knowledge about eight selected types of modern contraceptives and contraceptive preferences and attitudes. Only test participants showed significant improvement in their general contraceptive knowledge score (p<0.001), but both test participants and peer educators showed significant improvement in overall knowledge scores for identifying the types and uses of modern contraceptive methods. Assessment for knowledge retention remained significantly higher four weeks after the intervention than prior to the intervention. Therefore, a one-time, three-hour peer-based educational intervention using existing social structures is effective, and might be valuable in a population with minimal access to education and little to no knowledge about contraceptives.
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