Data Collection Notes
The survey had two phases. The first phase was a qualitative study consisting of a series of unstructured. in-depth interviews with married women and men. An exploratory study was carried out prior to the major
survey to determine a suitable approach for assessing knowledge attitudes and use patterns of contraceptives. This study was an anthropological inquiry into the subject of contraceptives and the associated semantics to find an appropriate starting point for a conversation on the subject paths of progress. etc. The study was designed in consultation with an anthropologist and a team of senior officers of the Department comprised of two statisticians who functioned as core team members two team supervisors and several interviewers with considerable experience in previous fertility surveys.
These officers spent several days in selected localities interviewing people in free conversation guided by predetermined themes. There was no structured questionnaire. General information was obtained from the approximately 200 respondents on knowledge and attitudes toward various family planning methods and practices as well as their contraceptive decision making and behaviour. The qualitative phase also unveiled local expressions commonly used to refer to methods such as periodic abstinence ("being careful") and withdrawal ("moving out"). These interviews led to the discovery that many couples do not think of traditional methods as methods per se but as habits or practices that originated in their daily routine and not from information or counseling provided by health professionals. Issues and common terminology used in family planning discussions that were identified in the qualitative study (Phase One) were then incorporated into the main survey questionnaire.
The second phase was the follow-up of selected women and a sample of their husbands from the 1982 CPS. The 1985 SLCS, carried out by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) in collaboration with FHI , generated a wide variety of opportunities to explore various aspects of contraceptive behavior. Interviewing both wives and husbands offered the opportunity to compare a woman's fertility awareness, behavior and reporting with that of her spouse. Furthermore, because the 1985 SLCS was also a follow-up of female respondents from the 1982 CPS, there was essentially a built-in panel study in which changes in attitudes, fertility desires, and contraceptive and fertility behavior of the same women
could be observed over a three-year period. The 1985 follow-up interviews of the CPS respondents also allowed us to compare the reported use of traditional and modern methods for the same women obtained from two very different data collection instruments. Special modules were designed for each contraceptive method so that very detailed method-specific information could be obtained from respondents. Information was obtained on the respondents' knowledge of a method how it worked; how to correctly use it; knowledge of and experience with side effects; satisfaction with a method; reasons for using; not using or discontinuing a method; perceived advantages; the extent and patterns of husband wife family planning communication and decision making; and method switching patterns and method failures.
In the WFS and CPS, knowledge and use were measured by asking the respondent what methods
they had heard of, if any, and what methods they had used or were using at the time. This was usually followed by a probing: each method not mentioned by a respondent was then referred to by the interviewer by name of method, only, in the CPS, but with a short, descriptive statement in the WFS, and the respondent was asked if she had heard of it and, if so, whether she had ever used it. The SLCS team felt that this may not be the best way to elicit information on contraceptive behavior that may have spanned many years. Furthermore, it had been observed that the measurement of prevalence,
particularly of traditional methods, differed from one survey to another.
The results of the qualitative interviews served as the basis for designing the survey instrument for the second phase. The main survey interviews commenced with a general inquiry of usual background characteristics of the woman, moving gradually to the subject of pregnancy and delaying pregnancy. At this point she was asked if she expected to have any (more) children in the future, thereafter, designed to ascertain the respondent's status with respect to i) current use, ii) past use, and iii) intended future use of contraception. Women who did not want more children and those who wanted more but later were
asked what they were doing to delay or prevent pregnancy. Past use was identified by asking each woman whether at any time in the past she did anything to delay or prevent a pregnancy. Finally, women were asked a hypothetical question: What would you do, if the need arises in the future, to delay or prevent a pregnancy?
This information was gathered in the background section of the questionnaire, at the end of which all methods the respondent had used in the past, was currently using, expecting to use, and never had used were known as a result of these preliminary but probing questions. This information was recorded in a chart indicating use status with respect to each method. This chart was printed on the inside front cover of the questionnaire and served as a guide for the rest of the interview. The remainder of the interview consisted of a series of questions on contraceptive methods: the pill, IUD, condom, injection, female sterilization, male sterilization, withdrawal, rhythm, abstinence, plus other practices named by the respondent.
The section for each method was structured into three segments: (1) never users, (2) current users, and (3) past users. The interviewer, by reference to the Use Status Chart, directed the respondent to ,the segment relevant to her for each method. The sequence of questions under segments for never use, current use or past use began by reaffirming that particular use status. The sequence for never users was initiated by inquiring whether she had ever heard of the method. If yes, this was followed by a question which
probed whether she had at any time or even for a short period used ,that method. If, after probing, it was discovered that the respondent had actually used the methods, the interviewer shifted to the appropriate use status category (i.e., current or past use) and proceeded from there. The remaining questions progressed in the following sequence: source of information, source of supply, how to use the method, how the method prevents conception, who advised her to use the method, duration of use, side effects
experienced and remedial action taken, knowledge of other side effects, reasons for selection of method, accessibility and availability, intention to continue or discontinue, expected future use, pregnancy while using, respondent and spouse's satisfaction with the method, and role as a motivator