200921 LARCs? : Women's lack of awareness and hesitation to use

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 8:35 AM

Erica Lea Spies, BA , College of Public Health, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa, Muscatine, IA
Mary L. Aquilino, MSN, PhD, FNP , College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Natoshia M. Askelson, MPH, PhD , Department of Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Mary E. Losch, PhD , Center for Social & Behavioral Research, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA
Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are new contraceptive options that do not require daily attention and could benefit women who have difficulty using other methods. Survey and focus group data revealed 18- to 30-year-old women's knowledge about these methods was limited and women were cautious about using them. Two random-digit dial surveys were conducted in the spring (N=543) and fall (N =796) of 2008 to ascertain women's awareness and knowledge of two new long-acting hormonal contraceptives. Younger women were more likely to have heard of LARCs. Early in 2008, 50.0% of women reported hearing of IUDs, while later in the year 65.8% had heard of it. 21.9% recalled it was an intrauterine contraceptive, and 18.0% knew it could be used for 5 years. Women who were married, had more education, and had previous pregnancies were more likely to have heard of IUDs. In spring 2008, only 8.0% of women had heard of implantable hormonal contraceptive and awareness rose to 12.5% by fall 2008. About three-fourths of women knew that it was an implant and 8.6% knew it could be used for 3 years. Non-metro women and women on Medicaid were more likely to have heard of LARCs. In 18 focus groups, women (N =106) reported knowing little about LARCs. Benefits associated with other contraceptives were not associated with LARCs. Women were concerned about potential side effects and problems arising from using a new contraceptive. Programs promoting LARCs must focus on increasing awareness, improving knowledge, and addressing concerns about side effects.

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the differences in women’s knowledge and awareness of IUDs and implantable hormonal contraceptives. Describe women’s hesitations to use long-acting reversible contraceptives. Discuss program implications for promoting long-acting reversible contraceptives in 18- to 30-year-old women.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I attended focus groups and assisted in the development of code book and coding. Also assisted in data analysis of the survey data.
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.