This article was published in open access on August 17, 2016 in the journal Tropical Medicine & International Health. It was authored by Loubna Belaid, Alexandre Dumont, Nils Chaillet, Amel Zertal, Vincent de Brouwere, Sennen Hounton & Valéry Ridde and can be downloaded at the bottom of this page, after its abstract or directly on the journal’s website.
Objectives: To synthesise evidence on the implementation, costs and cost-effectiveness of demand generation interventions and their effectiveness in improving uptake of modern contraception methods.
Methods: A Cochrane systematic review was conducted. Searches were performed in electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE) and the grey literature. Randomised controlled trials, cluster randomised trials and quasi-experimental studies, including controlled before–after studies (CBAs) and cost and cost-effectiveness studies that aimed to assess demand interventions (including community- and facility-based interventions, financial mechanisms and mass media campaigns) in low- and middle-income countries were considered. Meta-analyses and narrative synthesis were conducted.
Results: In total, 20 papers meeting the inclusion criteria were included in this review. Of those, 13 were used for meta-analysis. Few data were available on implementation and on the influence of context on demand interventions. Involving family members during counselling, providing education activities and increasing exposure to those activities could enhance the success of demand interventions. Demand generation interventions were positively associated with increases in current use (pooled OR 1.57; 95% CI: 1.46–1.69, P < 0.01). Financial mechanism interventions (vouchers) appeared effective to increase use of modern contraceptive methods (pooled OR 2.16; 95% CI: 1.91–2.45, P < 0.01; I2 = 0%). Demand interventions improved knowledge (pooled OR 1.02; 95% CI 0.63–1.64, P = 0.93) and attitudes towards family planning and improved discussion with partners/husbands around modern contraceptive methods. However, given the limited number of studies included in each category of demand generation interventions, the dates of publication of the studies and their low quality, caution is advised in considering the results. Very limited evidence was available on costs; studies including data on costs were old and inconsistent.
Conclusion: Demand generation interventions contribute to increases in modern contraceptive methods use. However, more studies with robust designs are needed to identify the most effective demand generation intervention to increase uptake of modern contraceptive methods. More evidence is also needed about implementation, costs and cost-effectiveness to inform decisions on sustainability and scaling-up.