Assessing the Reliability of the Retrospective Reproductive Calendar

Katherine Tumlinson , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Sian Curtis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Large numbers of women discontinue contraceptive use shortly after uptake. Current research calls for a better understanding of contraceptive behavior through a more detailed look at contraceptive discontinuation. A key component of responding to this call requires further assessment of the reliability of data produced by the reproductive calendar instrument – a data collection tool implemented widely among large-scale demographic surveys conducted in low-income countries. Prior studies are sparse and have lacked adequate data to appropriately assess calendar reliability. This analysis addresses this research gap, using longitudinal panel data with overlapping calendars to explore the reliability of retrospective reproductive calendar. Preliminary findings suggest poor reliability of the reproductive calendar, particularly among women using short-term methods. The authors will also consider and discuss the benefits and disadvantages of alternative approaches to collecting data on women’s contraceptive behavior over time.

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 Presented in Session 116. Innovations in Measurement for Fertility, Family Planning, and Sexual and Reproductive Health