Belief Systems and Health Behaviors in Guinea-Bissau

Last registered on May 31, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Belief Systems and Health Behaviors in Guinea-Bissau
Initial registration date
May 20, 2022

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
May 23, 2022, 5:20 PM EDT

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

Last updated
May 31, 2022, 5:47 PM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

York University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Nova School of Business and Economics
PI Affiliation
University of Alicante
PI Affiliation
Nova School of Business and Economics

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
West Africa remains a region where maternal and newborn diseases remain the primary causes of preventable deaths. While resources are scarce, evidence suggests that preventative and curative measures are under-utilized. This research studies a central, though sometimes overlooked factor in maternal and child health decisions: traditional beliefs, which have been shown to be high among general populations within Africa (Pew Research Center, 2010) and present around the world (Singh, 2021). We utilize a randomized controlled trial to study the impact of a novel type of health campaign which brings together modern and traditional health workers in rural villages in Guinea-Bissau. By comparing the impact of this campaign to that of a standard campaign, and to a control group of villages, we are able to assess how traditional beliefs interact with the potential success of these different campaigns.

External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Coutts, Alexander et al. 2022. "Belief Systems and Health Behaviors in Guinea-Bissau." AEA RCT Registry. May 31.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


This project consists of a planned impact evaluation of a new type of health information campaign that will be conducted in a randomly selected set of villages in two regions of Guinea-Bissau. This health campaign is innovative in its approach to incorporating and addressing traditional spiritual beliefs, which are widely held within communities in Guinea-Bissau and are common around the world (Singh, 2021).
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our key outcomes can be divided into four categories: 1) knowledge, 2) attitudes, 3) behavior, and 4) health.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
To study the impact of the standard and novel health campaigns on beliefs, behavior, and health, we conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in partnership with the implementing partner, the NGO VIDA, as well as the local organizational partner the National Public Health Institute of Guinea-Bissau (INASA).
Experimental Design Details
Please see the attached analysis plan.
Randomization Method
Stratified randomization is done using Stata. See attached analysis plan for more details.
Randomization Unit
Village level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
180 villages.
Sample size: planned number of observations
2160 individuals.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
60 villages assigned to T0 (Control)
60 villages assigned to T1 (Standard campaign)
60 villages assigned to T2 (Beliefs campaign)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Office of Research Ethics, York University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Scientific Council, Nova School of Business and Economics
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Comité Nacional de Ética na Saúde
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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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