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  • Adapting and Implementing the Beyond Bias Model: Solutions to Reduce Provider Bias in Contraceptive Service Delivery for Youth and Adolescents

Adapting and Implementing the Beyond Bias Model: Solutions to Reduce Provider Bias in Contraceptive Service Delivery for Youth and Adolescents

Publication Year: 2022
Contributing Organisation: Y.labs
Authors: Pathfinder International
Learning Themes: Global Health

About half of pregnancies among adolescent women aged 15–19 living in developing regions are unintended, and more than half of these end in abortion, often under unsafe conditions. Modern contraception plays a crucial role in allowing women to control the timing and number of their pregnancies. Yet, out of 32 million adolescent
women in LMICs who want to avoid a pregnancy, 14 million (43%) have an unmet need for modern contraception. Research shows that provider bias and judgmental behavior is a major barrier to the use of contraception by young people, including newly marrieds and first-time parents.
Decades of training and supervision have been insufficient in addressing biases held by sexual and reproductive health providers. Recognizing this reality, the Beyond Bias project was conceived with a mandate to disrupt the status quo by developing new innovative solutions to address this enduring barrier to care.
Multiple barriers prevent youth from accessing the contraceptive method of their choice. Many AYSRH programs focus on helping youth overcome barriers, such as social stigma, that prevent them from going to health facilities. Provider bias, however, occurs at the point of service. The few minutes a young person spends with a provider can have long-term consequences on the client’s health, education, and future.
Beyond Bias’s formative research found that specific biases manifest differently from country to country and from provider to provider, though overarching commonalities do exist between settings. In some cases, bias may prompt a provider to avoid counseling youth about long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) and hormonal methods or to refuse service altogether for unmarried clients. In another setting, bias may motivate a provider to
only promote abstinence as a family planning method to unmarried youth.
In yet other settings, provider bias may result in a denial of LARCs to nulliparous clients or a requirement that a youth client obtain spousal or parental consent before services will be provided. Though the specifics may vary, a common outcome of provider bias is that youth clients are discouraged from accessing and utilizing sexual and reproductive health products and services.

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Adolescent Insights
Global Health
Measurement & Evaluation
Quality & Standards
Youth Integration

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