“Breast-Ironing, Breastfeeding and Child Mortality: experimental evidence from Cameroon”

Last registered on June 29, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

“Breast-Ironing, Breastfeeding and Child Mortality: experimental evidence from Cameroon”
Initial registration date
June 29, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
June 29, 2021, 10:28 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

Cattolica University and LEAP Bocconi

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Breast ironing is a traditional practice that involves scarifying, massaging or pressing the breasts of adolescent girls. The rationale of this practice is based on the belief that a flattened breast will discourage unwanted male attention and sexual intercourse at a very young age, reducing the risk of rape, sexually transmitted infection, unwanted pregnancy and early marriage. Medical experts warn this practice could contribute to infection, fever, tissue damage and to the complete destruction of breast glands eventually leading to breast cancer and possibly interfering with breastfeeding later in life.

We plan to conduct a randomized control trial to test whether information provision on the harmful consequences of breast ironing and alternative methods to protect young girls from teenage pregnancies can efficiently reduce the practice in Cameroon.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Corno, Lucia. 2021. "“Breast-Ironing, Breastfeeding and Child Mortality: experimental evidence from Cameroon”." AEA RCT Registry. June 29. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7893-1.0
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our main outcomes are mother's attitudes towards breast ironing and breastfeeding; and the prevalence of breast ironing, breastfeeding and child mortality in the targeted villages.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We collect data among mothers and daughters in the targeted villages using survey questions and indirect revelation methods such as “item lists”.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We randomly allocate the study villages into three groups:
- Treatment 1 (T1): In these villages, a BReast Information Program (BRIP) is provided with information about the negative health consequences of breast ironing;
- Treatment 2 (T2): In these villages, an alternative method to protect girls from unwanted male attention is provided as an additional component of the BRIP;
- Control (C): In these villages no information or alternative method is provided.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
The randomization is conducted at the village level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
150 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
We interview at least 25 mothers and 1 daughter aged 8-17 for each mother in each village. We get a total sample of about 3750 mothers and at least one daughter per mother.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
50 villages control, 50 villages T1 (information provision), 50 villages T2 (information provision + alternative method).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Prot. 54613/19


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials