Online Program

Improving family planning counseling via a computerized tool: A clinic-based experiment in two North Carolina family planning clinics

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ellen Wilson, MPH, PhD, Women, Children, and Families Program, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC
Helen Koo, MPH, DrPH, Women, Children, and Families Program, RTI, International, Research Triangle Park, NC
Kathleen Krieger, MPH, Women, Children, and Families, RTI, International, Research Triangle Park, NC
Alexandra Minnis, MPH, PhD, Women's Global Health Imperative, RTI International, San Francisco, CA
Katherine Treiman, PhD, MPH, Center for Communication Science, RTI International, Rockville, MD
Background. Providing comprehensive, high quality counseling in the face of resource constraints is a challenge for family planning clinics. Computer-based counseling tools may be a means to enhance counseling without increasing the burden on clinic staff. Smart Choices is a tool designed to be used in clinics to help both patients and providers make more effective use of their counseling time. It collects information from patients to help providers understand any concerns, and allows patients to explore information about contraceptive methods. Methods. To assess the effectiveness of Smart Choices, we are conducting an experimental trial with patients from two family planning clinics in North Carolina: a health department clinic and a Planned Parenthood clinic. The trial will take place between February and June 2013. We will randomize patients by month of service. The control group (n=200) will receive usual care, and the intervention group (n=200) will use Smart Choices before seeing their provider. Data will be derived from exit interviews with patients, forms completed by providers, and tracking of the intervention group's use of Smart Choices. We will test for effects of the intervention using logistic regression (binary outcomes) and proportional odds (ordinal outcomes) models, controlling for background and prior experience variables. Results. We will present the effects of Smart Choices on key outcomes, including the quality of the counseling process, patients' contraceptive knowledge, the contraceptive method chosen, and patients' satisfaction with the method chosen. Conclusions. Smart Choices can potentially increase the efficiency and quality of family planning counseling.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the potential benefits of a computer-based family planning counseling aid. Discuss the ways a computer-based family planning counseling aid can be used in a clinic setting. Identify the benefits of clinic-based family planning interventions that enhance patient-centered counseling and patient activation.

Keyword(s): Family Planning, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on multiple research projects, several which have focused on improving family planning and sexual health services. I also have extensive hands-on experience as a public health practitioner with a focus on family planning; I have provided family planning counseling to patients, managed a family planning clinic, and taught sex education in schools.
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.