184463 Women's perspectives on family planning services: Findings from a qualitative study

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 11:10 AM

Davida E. Becker, PhD , Bixby Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Services, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Ann C. Klassen, PhD , Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Michael Koenig, PhD , Population and Family Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Thomas A. LaVeist, PhD , Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Freya Sonenstein, PhD , Center for Adolescent Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Amy Tsui, PhD , Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Despite substantial research in the US documenting problems with health care quality and differences in the quality of care received by patients of different racial, ethnic, and language backgrounds, there has been limited attention to these topics in family planning. In this qualitative study, we carried out 40 in-depth interviews with adult women who were recent family planning clients to learn more about their family planning service experiences. We recruited women from two publicly funded family planning clinics in Northern California. Women were eligible to participate if they were African-American, White, or Latina, aged 18 to 35, spoke English or Spanish, and reported at least two family planning visits in the previous 10 years. We analyzed our data by coding our transcripts thematically.

We found women evaluated the quality of their family planning care considering nine factors: the information provided; whether their autonomy was respected; service accessibility; how well providers engaged with them and personalized care; how caring and empathetic providers seemed; attention paid to their comfort; technical quality; service organization, and finally, whether their service needs were met. There were few differences by race, ethnicity, or language in the factors women considered important when receiving care, however, for Spanish-speaking Latinas, receiving language appropriate services was critical.

Many of the issues we identified as important to women have rarely been measured in past family planning service quality assessments. Our findings can inform the development of better measures of family planning service quality and can inform service quality improvement efforts.

Learning Objectives:
1. List nine criteria women consider when evaluating the quality of the family planning care they receive. 2. Describe similarities and differences by racial, ethnic, and language group in women’s family planning service delivery values and preferences. 3. Discuss how measures of family planning service quality could be improved so that they better reflect issues important to clients.

Keywords: Quality of Care, Family Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I carried out this research as part of my PhD.
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.