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FY 2008 - Natural Family Planning Research Grants

Natural Family Planning Use Among Young Adult Women: Quantitative Approaches

Grantee Organization:
Child Trends
Washington, DC 20008
Principal Investigator:
Jennifer Manlove Ph.D.
Project Period: 09/01/2008 – 08/31/2011

The study will incorporate a behavioral model of health service use to examine multiple domains of influence on natural family planning (NFP) use as well as predictors of successful NFP use. Child Trends will conduct three qualitative and quantitative stages of analysis. Together the three stages of the study will build on the limited research base and enhance the knowledge base on the use of NFP among young adult African-American and Hispanic women.

The study will build on Child Trends current qualitative research with Hispanic women, which indicates that a substantial percentage of these women are using NFP but may not be reporting it as a contraceptive method on national surveys. A better understanding of the prevalence of NFP use among clinic clients, factors associated with NFP use in the context of contraceptive method choice, and provider support for providing information about NFP to clients will help inform policy and program approaches to providing a broad range of family planning methods.

An Exploratory Study to Enhance Understanding about the Use of Natural Family Planning Methods in Title X Settings

Grantee Organization:
The Curators of the University of Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri 64110
Principal Investigator:
Jacki Witt JD, MSN, RNC, WHNP, CNM
Project Period: 09/01/2008 – 08/31/2011

This study will investigate and respond to specific individual and institutional parameters related to natural family planning (NFP), also know as fertility awareness methods (FAM). The initiation of this phased project will include baseline focus group and survey data collected from family planning clinical experts, clinic staff and family planning clients. Analysis of data may lead to identification of gaps in staff knowledge, and awareness and/or comfort with the principles and practices of NFP as a method for clients to plan or prevent pregnancy.

The project aims to explore knowledge, attitudes and beliefs related to NFP, especially in Title X- funded family planning clinics through an analysis of specific components of the health care system, and professional and socio-cultural factors which influence the likelihood of promotion, instruction or referral for NFP services.

Randomized Comparison of Two Internet –Supported Natural Family Planning Methods

Grantee Organization:
Marquette University
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201
Principal Investigator:
Richard Fehring, PhD, MSN
Project Period: 09/01/2008 – 08/31/2011

The Institute for Natural Family Planning at Marquette will conduct research in two internet-supported methods of natural family planning (NFP). The two methods are (1) electronic hormonal fertility monitoring (EHFM), and (2) the cervical mucous method (CMM). The goals of the research are to: (1) assess and compare the efficacy of these two methods; (2) determine the users' satisfaction with each method; and (3) compare the level of motivation of couples using EHFM and CMM.

The study is the first randomized clinical trial comparing two methods of NFP to be performed in more than thirty years. It will take advantage of internet technologies to increase the ease of use of each method. Staff members from the Institute for Family Planning are available on line to answer questions on correct method use from study participants as well as from other NFP users. The study is planned to include 600 individuals and will be conducted over the course of three years, with the data being collected in the first two years.

Effectiveness Intention in Behavior and Creighton Model NFP Use

Grantee Organization:
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112
Principal Investigator:
Joseph Stanford, MD, MSPH
Project Period: 09/01/2008 – 08/31/2011

This study will analyze prospectively gathered data from 300 couples using the Creighton Method of natural family planning (NFP) to test the theoretical and practical effectiveness of the Creighton Method itself. More importantly, this study will test the measures currently used to assess the effectiveness of family planning methods in general. The primary goal of the study is to arrive at performance measures that can accurately describe NFP's ability to work as a contraceptive or a "pro-ceptive" technique. This study will also test new measurements that will give more accurate answers about pregnancy intention than are available from the measurements that are currently used.

The study will be conducted through a consortium of ten of the 190 Creighton Method centers in the United States.

A Strategic Approach to Standard Days Method Introduction: Expanding Availability and Use of FAM

Grantee Organization:
Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University
Washington D.C. 20008
Principal Investigator:
Rebecka Lundgren, MPH
Project Period: 09/01/2008 – 08/31/2011

The Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) at Georgetown University will conduct a study concerning the integration of services based on the Standard Days Method (SDM) of natural family planning (NFP) into Title X –funded family planning clinics. The paradigm for integration will be the World Health Organization's Strategic Approach. Specific techniques in this approach include key informant interviews, focus groups, and the use of simulated clients. In this effort, the IRH will collaborate with the John Snow Institute and the Center for Health Training, two Title X-funded training grantees. The IRH expects that approximately 200 clients from eight Title X sites will initiate use of the SDM through the course of this study. The final aspect of the project is to disseminate the findings about how to introduce this method of NFP more broadly.

Determinants of NFP Use: Family Planning Client and Provider Perspectives

Grantee Organization:
Family Planning Council, Inc.
260 S. Broad Street, Suite 1000
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Principal Investigator:
Paul G. Whittaker, PhD
Project Period: 09/01/2008 – 08/31/2011

The goals of this study are to:

  1. Assess female Title X family planning consumers' knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding natural family planning (NFP) and fertility awareness methods (FAM) and their experiences in using these methods for the purpose of pregnancy prevention, as well as factors that impede and/or facilitate method use;
  2. Assess Title X family planning provider knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding NFP and FAM options, the delivery of NFP and FAM-related services, and the factors that impede and/or facilitate service delivery; and
  3. Identify potential strategies to reduce barriers to consumer use of NFP and FAM and the delivery of NFP and FAM-related family planning services.

This study aims to:

  1. Test the validity of current findings on the numbers of females who report reliance on NFP and FAM for pregnancy prevention;
  2. Test the impact of provider counseling, information and education on NFP and FAM on consumer choice of these methods for pregnancy prevention; and
  3. Address critical gaps in understanding of the determinants of NFP and FAM uptake and successful use.

Natural Family Planning in Region X Title X Clinics

Grantee Organization:
The Center for Health Training
1809 7th Avenue, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98101-1341
Principal Investigator:
David Fine, PhD
Project Period: 09/01/2008 – 08/31/2011

This exploratory and descriptive study in Region X has two main goals:

  1. Identify factors that affect natural family planning (NFP) use; and
  2. Assess predictors of contraceptive success among NFP users.

Four research approaches will be utilized, including both quantitative and qualitative methods:

  1. Quantitative analysis of Region X Title X family planning clinic client visit information system records (1999 – 2008) for women who either had used NFP before their visit or left with NFP as their primary contraceptive method;
  2. Quantitative agency and clinic staff needs assessments concerning NFP issues using the regional needs assessment process, and more in-depth assessment among Washington State Title X family planning programs;
  3. Qualitative interviews and focus groups with clinic staff concerning their views and experience with NFP; and
  4. Qualitative interviews with Title X clinic clients using NFP, recruited from research sites.