142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Adolescent perceptions of facilitators and barriers to emergency contraception access

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 10:30 AM - 10:42 AM

Annie-Laurie McRee, DrPH , Division of Health Behavior and Health Promotion, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Elyse Levine Less, JD , Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Sonya S. Brady, PhD , Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, MN
BACKGROUND:  Understanding teens’ perceptions of emergency contraception (EC) is critical to increasing appropriate EC use.

METHODS:  This mixed-methods study used data from 72 teens (ages 14-18, 89% female, 60% non-Hispanic white) in Minnesota who participated in TeensTalkHealth, a web-based sexual health intervention, during 2011-2012. Teens watched a video vignette about EC, then completed a brief survey and message-board discussion. We used an inductive approach to identify themes in qualitative data and multivariable logistic regression for quantitative data.

RESULTS: Almost half of teens (46%) reported having either used EC at least once or wanting to use EC and not being able. Key themes in teens’ message-board comments included perceived barriers to EC access (limited knowledge and misconceptions, young age, timing) and social influences (parents, peers, partners). Teens described peers as key supports but felt that parents could be facilitators or barriers to EC. Survey data indicated that two-thirds of teens (66%) were very confident that they could access EC and almost half (47%) thought parents would facilitate access in a way that made them feel good. In multivariable analyses, teens with higher levels of peer support had greater confidence that they could access EC (OR=3.9) and teens with higher levels of family support had greater odds of thinking parents would positively facilitate access (OR=3.5)(both p<.05).

CONCLUSION:  While recent regulations make EC available without a prescription to teens under age 17, our findings point to other factors that will be important to address if expanded access is to lead to increased use.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe teens’ perceptions of facilitators and barriers to EC access. Explain the relationship between social supports and teens’ perceptions of access to EC.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Contraception

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I hold a DrPH in Maternal and Child Health and am faculty in the College of Public Health at The Ohio State University. I conduct research on adolescent health with a focus on sexual/reproductive health and health services. I have published on this topic and presented at several previous APHA meetings.
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.