An innovative social marketing intervention in Pakistan distributes audiocassettes via chemist shops and Lady Health Visitors (LHVs) to reach women in a segregated society with accurate information on hormonal contraceptives. Operations research was done to assess the utility of the cassette in knowledge dissemination and adoption of hormonal use. In total 187 structured questionnaires were completed with couples who had obtained a cassette. Listeners were significantly more knowledgeable than non-listeners about correct use of hormonals (OR=8·6 for women and OR=12·7 for men). Hormonal use increased from 12% to 25%. LHVs also organized discussion groups for women, and attending such a chat group was the strongest predictor for adoption of pills and injectables (OR=4·15). Equivalent male groups are suggested to reach apprehensive men. By providing accurate information to urban couples and by acquiring a knowledgeable critical mass of satisfied users, the cassette could be a powerful catalyst to further contraceptive diffusion.
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