Anne Lucy Lifflander, MD, MPH, Vera Institute of Justice, 233 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10279, 212-376-3111, firstname.lastname@example.org, Laura MD Gaydos, PhD, Women's and Children's Center, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, 1518 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, and Carol J. Rowland Hogue, PhD, MPH, Women's and Children's Center, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, 1518 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322.
Purpose of Study: The objective of the Circumstances of Pregnancy study is to use qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the reasons for the high rate of unintended pregnancy among adult women in Georgia. The specific research questions explored are:
1. What is the proportion of unintended pregnancy among adult women who use county health department facilities? 2. What are the circumstances in which intended and unintended pregnancies occur?
Methods: We surveyed a convenience sample of 439 women who were awaiting pregnancy test results at four health department sites in metropolitan Atlanta. Six focus groups were conducted at the same sites to clarify survey findings related to beliefs and practices concerning pregnancy planning.
Results: Intended pregnancies made up less than one quarter (23%) of all possible pregnancies in survey respondents; 49% were mistimed, 13% unwanted and 12% unsure. Non-Hispanic white women and women in a cohabiting relationship were significantly more likely to be pregnant intentionally. Focus groups revealed that women perceive benefits to planned as well as unplanned pregnancies, that pregnancy timing and circumstances, as much as intention, are determinants of happiness about the pregnancy, and that the term pregnancy planning is understood to mean ovulation prediction, timing of intercourse and other methods to increase the probability of conception.
Discussion: The integration of qualitative and quantitative methods brought greater clarity to the dimensions of unintended pregnancy and the circumstances related to unintended pregnancy. Interventions to reduce unintended pregnancies will be strengthened by addressing issues identified by the qualitative data.
Keywords: Pregnancy, Reproductive Planning
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA