The relationship between interviewer-respondent familiarity and family planning outcomes in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A repeat cross-sectional analysis

Philip Anglewicz, Pierre Akilimali, Linnea Perry Eitmann, Julie Hernandez, Patrick Kayembe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives The typical approach of survey data collection is to use interviewers who are not from the study site and do not know the participants, yet the implications of this approach on data quality have seldom been investigated. We examine the relationship between interviewer-respondent familiarity and selected family planning outcomes, and whether this relationship changes over time between 2015 and 2016. Setting We use data from the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 Project in Kongo Central Province, Democratic Republic of Congo. Participants Participants include representative samples of women of reproductive ages (15 to 49), 1565 interviewed in 2015 and 1668 in 2016. The study used a two-stage cluster design: First randomly selecting enumeration areas (EAs), then randomly selecting households within each EA. Design We first identify individual characteristics associated with familiarity between RE and respondent. Next, we examine the relationship between RE-respondent acquaintance and family planning outcomes. Finally, we use two waves of data to examine whether this relationship changes over time between 2015 and 2016. Results In multivariate analysis, interviewer-respondent acquaintance is significantly associated with last birth unintended (OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.17 to 3.13) and reported infertility in 2015 (OR 2.26, 95% CI 1.03 to 4.95); and any contraceptive use (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.28), traditional contraceptive use (OR 1.79, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.89), reported infidelity (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.02 to 3.49) and age at first sex (coefficient -0.48, 95% CI -0.96 to -0.01) in 2016. The impact of acquaintance on survey responses changed over time for any contraceptive use (OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.33 to 3.30). Conclusions The standard in many large-scale surveys is to use interviewers from outside the community. Our results show that interviewer-respondent acquaintance is associated with a range of family planning outcomes; therefore, we recommend that the approach to hiring interviewers be examined and reconsidered in survey data collection efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere023069
JournalBMJ open
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • family planning
  • interviewer effects
  • survey methodology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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