Online Program

An examination of emergency contraceptive use by midwestern college students using the integrated behavioral model

Monday, November 4, 2013

Jennifer Wohlwend, Ph.D., MPH, CHES, Department of Health and Recreation Professions, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Tavis Glassman, PhD, MPH, MSEd, MCHES, CCPH, School of Population Health, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Joseph A. Dake, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Recreation Professions, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Timothy R. Jordan, PhD, MEd, Department of Public Health, College of Health Science & Human Service, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Sadik Khuder, Ph.D., Medicine, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Sanford Kimmel, M.D., Family Medicine, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Unintended/unplanned pregnancies represent a serious public health problem that engenders a life-changing sequence of events for young women, their partners and families. Approximately 50% end in abortion; while continuing with the pregnancy leads to increased poverty, absentee fathers, depression, and children with school and health problems. These parents are less likely to complete their college education or pursue careers. If emergency contraception (EC) is used as a second line preventative when contraceptives fail or are not used, the rate of unintended pregnancies would decrease dramatically. The purpose of this study involved assessing knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of undergraduate college students at 11 Midwestern universities. Total number of students surveyed was 1,553, with a response rate of 98.4%. Females comprised 63.5%, whites 75.3% and 18-21 year olds 80%. Participants reported engaging in sexual intercourse at least once in their lifetime (78.9%) with 8.4% of sexually active students having experienced an unintended/unplanned pregnancy; and 18.1% reporting use of emergency contraception in the last 12 months. Students demonstrated poor comprehension with the majority of students (55%) incorrectly answering 6 of 10 EC knowledge based questions. The Integrated Behavioral Model explained 50% of the intention to use emergency contraception. Each construct contributed a statistically significant portion of variance with the exception of experiential attitude. Future interventions to increase emergency contraceptive use and decrease unintended/unplanned pregnancies for college students could effectively be designed using the Integrated Behavioral Model.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the mechanism of action of emergency contraceptives. Explain the difference between emergency contraception and abortion. Discuss the impact of lack of knowledge of emergency contraception on college student use.

Keyword(s): Contraception, Sexual Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I obtained my Ph.D. in Health Education at The University of Toledo, 2013 and MPH in epidemiology, 2005. I was project director for an interdisciplinary research grant targeting high risk drinking by college students. I presented at Ohio SOPHE in 2011 "Using Health Communication Strategies to Reduce High Risk Drinking among College students." I am co-evaluator on a diabetes grant addressing minorities in Toledo, Ohio. I have taught in higher education for 7 years.
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.