Article Text

Blended learning on family planning policy requirements: key findings and implications for health professionals
  1. Rupali J Limaye1,
  2. Naheed Ahmed2,
  3. Saori Ohkubo2,
  4. Anne Ballard2
  1. 1 Department of International Health, Global Disease Epidemiology and Control, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2 Center for Communication Programs, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Naheed Ahmed, Center for communication Programs, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD 21202, USA; naheed.ahmed{at}


Background To address unmet needs for family planning and advance women’s rights, US federal foreign aid recipients must ensure compliance with the family planning legislative and policy requirements. Because many health providers work in rural and remote settings, blended learning, which combines in-person and online experiences, is a promising approach for strengthening their compliance knowledge.

Methods This cross-sectional study examined the effect of blended learning that included three components (online course, in-person training and conference call) on retention of family planning compliance knowledge. A total of 660 learners from 44 countries completed the online survey (8% response rate). Study participants were asked about their knowledge of family planning compliance and suggestions to improve their learning experiences.

Findings Knowledge retention was higher in the group that utilised all three learning approaches compared with the online course plus conference call group (P<0.05). Participants who took the online course multiple times tended to retain knowledge better than respondents who took it only once, although this result was not statistically significant.

Limitations The study relied on a convenience sample, which may contribute to bias. The response rate, while low at 8%, was representative of the user base, and included 660 respondents.

Conclusion Participation in a blended learning training resulted in the highest gains in knowledge retention compared with online-only learning. These findings suggest that blended learning and repeat online trainings are critical to ensuring health professionals are aware of family planning compliance regulations.

  • training
  • family planning requirements
  • blended learning

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  • Funding The Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project is supported by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), under Cooperative Agreement #AID-OAA-A-13-00068 with the Johns Hopkins University. K4Health is implemented by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs in collaboration with FHI 360, Management Sciences for Health, and IntraHealth International.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Institutional Review Board reviewed this study and classified it as non-research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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