174076 Cultural factors affecting the use of oral contraception on the US-Mexico Border

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 3:30 PM

Michele Shedlin, PhD , College of Nursing, New York University, New York, NY
Jon Amastae, PhD , Center for Inter-American and Border Studies, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Joseph E. Potter, PhD , Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Victor Talavera, MA , College of Health Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
This paper presents ethnographic findings from the study: Oral Contraceptive Use along the US-Mexico Border (1 R01 HD047816, J.E. Potter, PI). This study assessed whether women are as capable of screening themselves for contraindications to OC use as health professionals. The study explored: women's motivations for buying OCs on either side of the Border, and the relation between procurement location and women's knowledge about OCs. Also being analyzed is the role of an informational leaflet for women obtaining pills in Mexican pharmacies. Finally, a cohort of OC users was followed to assess whether baseline decisions about OC source are associated with satisfaction, compliance, continuation and unintended pregnancy.

The final of four survey interviews included open-ended questions which explored womens' information and beliefs regarding the contents (“medicine”) in the pill and its mechanism of action inside the body. These questions aimed at the elicitation of understandings about the body, body products and reproductive physiology as well as beliefs about health, illness and well-being. The purpose of this qualitative component was to explore the levels of correct information and erroneous beliefs which may be affecting contraceptive behavior for this Border (bi-national, bi-cultural) population, after participation in this longitudinal study, its educational efforts and potential impact on womens' contraceptive decision-making. Analysis was guided by a theoretical model of cultural acceptability of fertility regulating methods developed by the WHO. Conclusions present hypotheses regarding retained erroneous cultural beliefs, interpretations of OC mechanisms of action based on these beliefs, and the selective new information adopted and used in contraceptive decision-making.

Learning Objectives:
1. Indentify information and cultural beliefs affecting contraceptive decision-making by Mexican-origin women on the US-Mexico Border 2. Utilize a WHO framework developed for assessing cultural acceptability of contraceptives 3. Recognize possible impacts of research on participants' knowledge of reproductive physiology and fertility regulation

Keywords: Contraception, Hispanic

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I and my co-authors are co-investigators or directors on this study
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.