179590 Obtaining Oral Contraceptive Pills in Mexican Pharmacies or US Clinics: A Qualitative Study of Mexico Origin Women in El Paso, Texas

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kristine Hopkins, PhD , Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Using in-depth interviews with a sample of Mexican origin women living in El Paso, Texas, I explore their narratives to uncover the relationship between what and who a woman knows with how and where she chooses to get oral contraceptives. Approximately half the sample obtained their pills from subsidized family planning clinics in El Paso while the other half obtained them over-the-counter from pharmacies across the border in Ciudad Juarez. In this analysis, I explore women's descriptions of their social networks to understand the context in which women make their contraceptive buying decisions in this border setting. Moreover, I explore current and past experiences with procurement of oral contraceptives as well as other contraceptives and health care. In their descriptions of pharmacy and clinic experiences, these women recount their level of satisfaction in addition to what they like most and what they like the least about getting their pills from their preferred source.

Thirty-five Mexican origin women living in El Paso, Texas were interviewed in-depth. Each woman was interviewed twice, about 1 year apart; 28 of the 35 subjects (80%) completed the second interview.

In general, women in this sample are satisfied with the services they receive where they obtain their pills. Significantly, many women who get their pills from pharmacies in Mexico are not aware of the low-cost or free services available to them in El Paso. Also, El Paso clinic users typically are not aware of services available at other clinics in El Paso.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the characteristics of Mexican origin US resident women who obtain oral contraceptive pills over-the-counter in Mexico or in subsidized clinics in the US. 2. Identify the relationship of women's social networks to her choice of where she obtains her pills. 3. Describe women's level satisfaction with source of oral contraceptives. 4. Describe women's knowledge of the range of places available to obtain oral contraceptives in the US-Mexican border setting.

Keywords: Contraceptives, Hispanic

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: the data from the paper come from a study of which I am the Principal Investigator (R03 HD047507-01).
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.