JMIR Research Protocols (Mar 2022)

Impact-Oriented Dialogue for Culturally Safe Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in Bauchi State, Nigeria: Protocol for a Codesigned Pragmatic Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

  • Anne Cockcroft,
  • Khalid Omer,
  • Yagana Gidado,
  • Rilwanu Mohammed,
  • Loubna Belaid,
  • Umaira Ansari,
  • Claudia Mitchell,
  • Neil Andersson

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 3
p. e36060


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BackgroundAdolescents (10-19 years) are a big segment of the Nigerian population, and they face serious risks to their health and well-being. Maternal mortality is very high in Nigeria, and rates of pregnancy and maternal deaths are high among female adolescents. Rates of HIV infection are rising among adolescents, gender violence and sexual abuse are common, and knowledge about sexual and reproductive health risks is low. Adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) indicators are worse in the north of the country. ObjectiveIn Bauchi State, northern Nigeria, the project will document the nature and extent of ASRH outcomes and risks, discuss the findings and codesign solutions with local stakeholders, and measure the short-term impact of the discussions and proposed solutions. MethodsThe participatory research project is a sequential mixed-methods codesign of a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial. Focus groups of local stakeholders (female and male adolescents, parents, traditional and religious leaders, service providers, and planners) will identify local priority ASRH concerns. The same stakeholder groups will map their knowledge of factors causing these concerns using the fuzzy cognitive mapping (FCM) technique. Findings from the maps and a scoping review will inform the contextualization of survey instruments to collect information about ASRH from female and male adolescents and parents in households and from local service providers. The survey will take place in 60 Bauchi communities. Adolescents will cocreate materials to share the findings from the maps and survey. In 30 communities, randomly allocated, the project will engage adolescents and other stakeholders in households, communities, and services to discuss the evidence and to design and implement culturally acceptable actions to improve ASRH. A follow-up survey in communities with and without the intervention will measure the short-term impact of these discussions and actions. We will also evaluate the intervention process and use narrative techniques to assess its impact qualitatively. ResultsFocus groups to explore ASRH concerns of stakeholders began in October 2021. Baseline data collection in the household survey is expected to take place in mid-2022. The study was approved by the Bauchi State Health Research Ethics Committee, approval number NREC/03/11/19B/2021/03 (March 1, 2021), and by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Institutional Review Board McGill University (September 13, 2021). ConclusionsEvidence about factors related to ASRH outcomes in Nigeria and implementation and testing of a dialogic intervention to improve these outcomes will fill a gap in the literature. The project will document and test the effectiveness of a participatory approach to ASRH intervention research. Trial RegistrationISRCTN Registry ISRCTN18295275; International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID)DERR1-10.2196/36060