203567 Family planning when “green” is queen: Exploring the potential for fertility awareness-based methods (FAM) in U.S. Title X clinics

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 11:10 AM

Katherine Lavoie, MPH , Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Myriam H. Jennings, MA , Health Division, JSI Research and Training Institute, Boston, MA
Renee Marshall, MEd , Center for Health Training, Oakland, CA
Rebecka Lundgren, MPH , Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Despite their efficacy and safety, the availability and use of fertility awareness-based family planning methods (FAM) are low in U.S. Title X clinics. Some FAMs take longer to teach than the average counseling time available. The Standard Days Method (SDM), in contrast, is a simple yet effective FAM that can be taught in a short time. SDM introduction represents a feasible way to mainstream FAM and expand choice by providing an alternative to hormonal methods. Whereas many programs and providers are skeptical of FAM reliability and desirability, recent experience suggests that the renewed cultural interest in “green” or natural products may contribute to increased FAM acceptability. Georgetown University and partners in California and Massachusetts are conducting a study to develop and test a process to introduce SDM in four clinics utilizing the World Health Organization's Strategic Approach for family planning method introduction. This approach, conceived for international programs and now being applied in the U.S., calls for the integration strategy to be developed through a participatory process focusing on client needs and quality services. This paper presents the results of the needs assessment phase, including focus groups to assess potential clients' demand for SDM; provider interviews to assess current knowledge, attitudes and practices; and a site assessment to identify opportunities and challenges to adding SDM to the method mix. Preliminary results suggest that SDM appeals to potential clients and that providers are amenable to offering it. Results will be used to tailor the integration strategy to the clinic settings.

Learning Objectives:
1. List the key elements of the World Health Organization’s Strategic Approach to family planning method introduction 2. Define fertility awareness-based methods and the Standard Days Method 3. Describe provider knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding FAM 4. Describe potential clients’ knowledge, needs, and desire for FAM 5. Identify opportunities and challenges to integrating SDM into the method mix

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in managing domestic research projects pertaining to fertility awareness-based family planning method introduction for over three years. I have an MPH degree.
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.