225546 Talking all the time?: Young adult women's contraceptive information seeking behaviors and perceptions

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Erica L. Spies, MS , Department of Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Shelly Campo, PhD , Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa, College of Public Health, 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
Relatively little is known about health information-seeking behaviors related to contraceptives and contraceptive use. This study examined how 18-30 year old women seek contraceptive information, the sources women use for information on contraceptives, and the knowledge they have related to contraceptives. Eighteen focus groups were conducted with 18-30 year old women (N = 106) in a Midwestern state. Participants were asked about their knowledge and information-seeking related to contraceptives. Focus groups were audio taped, transcribed, and analyzed for major themes. Findings suggest that women have limited knowledge about contraceptive methods. Women exhibited misunderstandings of how contraceptives prevent pregnancy, how long they last, possible side effects, and the process required to obtain them. Women reported they had sought information about contraceptives from health care providers, family members, and friends. Family members, particularly mothers, were cited as the most useful source of information. Women also claimed they talked about contraceptives with friends “all the time.” Finally, while none of the women reported seeking contraceptive information on the internet, the majority of women reported they preferred this source of information. Approximately ¼ of women indicated that a social networking site would be a preferred source of information on contraceptives. Public health implications include providing women with information about contraceptives, encouraging health care providers and public health practitioners to facilitate women's information seeking from family and friends, and engaging health care providers and public health practitioners in the design of websites and social networking pages that provide useful and accurate information about contraceptives.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess the information-seeking behaviors related to contraceptives of 18-30 year old women. 2. Identify key sources of information on contraceptives for 18-30 year old women.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted this research for a class project. I assisted in data collection and data analysis.
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.