Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of family planning methods in rural Nepal
The present study "Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Family Planning 'Methods in Rural Nepal" was conducted to assess the situation of fertility behavior and use of family planning methods. It attempted to collect reliable data on reproductive behavior; contraceptive knowledge, attitudes, and practices; and family size preferences.The immediate objectives of the study were to assess the level of knowledge, attitudes, and practices of family planning methods; to assess the contribution of governmental and non-governmental programs; and recommend appropriate measures and suggestions for the further improvement of the programs.As a representation of rural Nepal, Banganga Village planning office, and the households were randomly selected from the list by the team supervisor. Eligible households selected included all of those in which there was a currently married couple in which either spouse aged between 15 and 45 years of age were present. There were a total of 150 couples identified as eligible for interview and all were successfully interviewed.A structured interview schedule was developed by the researcher, which was sent to Nepal with detailed guidelines for training and management of interviewers. The final editing of all collected survey instruments was carried out by the researcher with the advice of the members of the thesis committee. Later, those instruments were coded and entered in the computer for the purpose of statistical analysis.Based on statistical analysis, it was found that 60.7 percent of the total respondents have heard of at least one of the methods of family planning. However, only 11.3 percent of them have ever used a particular method of family planning. The current use of contraception is also 11.3 percent which is slightly lower than the level found in a 1986 national survey (15.1%). This shows a great disparity between the knowledge and practice of family planning methods.The major reasons given by respondents for not using any family planning method were bad side effects and the desire to have more children. This suggests that program managers and policy makers in Nepal must develop improved information and communication strategies in order to increase the rate of acceptance of family planning.Of the 11.3 percent of the sample who are current users of contraceptive methods, sterilization constitutes as high as 82.4 percent which indicates that family planning is very popular insynonymous with sterilization. This clearly indicates that the concept of birth spacing has not been Nepal.A further finding was that the family planning program is reaching proportionately more literate than illiterate people. This necessitates formation of effective strategies by the concerned agencies which will increase the acceptance rate among illiterate people. This is extremely significant since more than 75 percent of the total population is still illiterate and the majority of them live in rural Nepal.