Evaluating the effect of Waya couple education and counseling intervention on quality of marital relationship: a qualitative inquiry
Objective: We evaluated married couples’ perspectives on the quality of their marital relationships after participating in a counselor-led couple education and counseling intervention aimed at improving the quality of marital relationships and reducing high HIV risk sexual behaviors.
Design: This qualitative endline survey was part of a prospective study to assess the effect of a counselor-led couple education and counseling intervention on improving the quality of marital relationships.
Settings: Fishing communities along Lake Victoria in Kisumu County, Kenya.
Participants: We conducted dyad in-depth interviews with a sub-sample of six married couples three months following a 5-session Waya (local language word for paternal aunt) intervention
Outcome measures: Perspectives on the effect of in a counselor-led couple education and counseling on quality of marital relationships
Results: The couples perceived that the intervention resulted in enhanced quality of their marital relationships. Specifically, the couples reported improved intimacy, joint financial planning, partner support, enhanced communication, conflict-solving abilities, and sexual behavior change. Couples also reported improved knowledge of sexual and reproductive health issues and services available to support safer sex practices.
Conclusion: Married couples perceived the Waya intervention to have improved their marital relationships. Given the potential to reduce HIV transmission, there is a need to test this intervention with a rigorous trial design for efficacy.