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Understanding pregnancy planning in a low-income country setting: validation of the London measure of unplanned pregnancy in Malawi

Hall, J; Barrett, G; Mbwana, N; Copas, A; Malata, A; Stephenson, J; (2013) Understanding pregnancy planning in a low-income country setting: validation of the London measure of unplanned pregnancy in Malawi. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth , 13 (1) , Article 200. 10.1186/1471-2393-13-200. Green open access

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Abstract

Background The London Measure of Unplanned Pregnancy (LMUP) is a new and psychometrically valid measure of pregnancy intention that was developed in the United Kingdom. An improved understanding of pregnancy intention in low-income countries, where unintended pregnancies are common and maternal and neonatal deaths are high, is necessary to inform policies to address the unmet need for family planning. To this end this research aimed to validate the LMUP for use in the Chichewa language in Malawi. Methods Three Chichewa speakers translated the LMUP and one translation was agreed which was back-translated and pre-tested on five pregnant women using cognitive interviews. The measure was field tested with pregnant women who were recruited at antenatal clinics and data were analysed using classical test theory and hypothesis testing. Results 125 women aged 15–43 (median 23), with parities of 1–8 (median 2) completed the Chichewa LMUP. There were no missing data. The full range of LMUP scores was captured. In terms of reliability, the scale was internally consistent (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.78) and test-retest data from 70 women showed good stability (weighted Kappa 0.80). In terms of validity, hypothesis testing confirmed that unmarried women (p = 0.003), women who had four or more children alive (p = 0.0051) and women who were below 20 or over 29 (p = 0.0115) were all more likely to have unintended pregnancies. Principal component analysis showed that five of the six items loaded onto one factor, with a further item borderline. A sensitivity analysis to assess the effect of the removal of the weakest item of the scale showed slightly improved performance but as the LMUP was not significantly adversely affected by its inclusion we recommend retaining the six-item score. Conclusion The Chichewa LMUP is a valid and reliable measure of pregnancy intention in Malawi and can now be used in research and/or surveillance. This is the first validation of this tool in a low-income country, helping to demonstrate that the concept of pregnancy planning is applicable in such a setting. Use of the Chichewa LMUP can enhance our understanding of pregnancy intention in Malawi, giving insight into the family planning services that are required to better meet women’s needs and save lives.

Type: Article
Title: Understanding pregnancy planning in a low-income country setting: validation of the London measure of unplanned pregnancy in Malawi
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2393-13-200
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2393-13-200
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 Hall et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Pregnancy, intention, validation, Malawi, measure, unplanned
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health > Reproductive Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1415008
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