Environ Int. 2023 Aug 19;179:108160. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2023.108160. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Reducing household air pollution (HAP) to levels associated with health benefits requires nearly exclusive use of clean cooking fuels and abandonment of traditional biomass fuels.
METHODS: The Household Air Pollution Intervention Network (HAPIN) trial randomized 3,195 pregnant women in Guatemala, India, Peru, and Rwanda to receive a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stove intervention (n = 1,590), with controls expected to continue cooking with biomass fuels (n = 1,605). We assessed fidelity to intervention implementation and participant adherence to the intervention starting in pregnancy through the infant’s first birthday using fuel delivery and repair records, surveys, observations, and temperature-logging stove use monitors (SUMs).
RESULTS: Fidelity and adherence to the HAPIN intervention were high. Median time required to refill LPG cylinders was 1 day (interquartile range 0-2). Although 26% (n = 410) of intervention participants reported running out of LPG at some point, the number of times was low (median: 1 day [Q1, Q3: 1, 2]) and mostly limited to the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most repairs were completed on the same day as problems were reported. Traditional stove use was observed in only 3% of observation visits, and 89% of these observations were followed up with behavioral reinforcement. According to SUMs data, intervention households used their traditional stove a median of 0.4% of all monitored days, and 81% used the traditional stove < 1 day per month. Traditional stove use was slightly higher post-COVID-19 (detected on a median [Q1, Q3] of 0.0% [0.0%, 3.4%] of days) than pre-COVID-19 (0.0% [0.0%, 1.6%] of days). There was no significant difference in intervention adherence pre- and post-birth.
CONCLUSION: Free stoves and an unlimited supply of LPG fuel delivered to participating homes combined with timely repairs, behavioral messaging, and comprehensive stove use monitoring contributed to high intervention fidelity and near-exclusive LPG use within the HAPIN trial.