142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

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Influence of clinician counseling on contraceptive method choice among a sample of women initiating birth control

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 12:54 PM - 1:06 PM

Nicole Smith, PhD, MPH , Office of Population Research, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Alyssa M. Lederer, MPH, CHES , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Megan Simmons, MPH , Department of Applied Health Science, School of Public Health-Bloomington, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Background. Clinician counseling is an important component of women’s birth control expectations and satisfaction. However, little is known about the interplay of counseling on contraceptive decision-making among women who want to begin a new method but who state no preference for a particular birth control type. The aim of this study was to better understand how contraceptive counseling influences method choice.

Methods. Women seeking to start a new contraceptive method and who had not used any hormonal method in the past six months were enrolled into an online study after visiting family planning clinics throughout the US.

Results. Data represent N=78 women between the ages of 14-42 (mean=24.24) who indicated no preference for a specific method at the beginning of the appointment. Large discrepancies exist in the range of methods covered during a typical counseling session. The majority of participants received information on the pill (82.1%) and condoms (62.8%) with far fewer being counseled on IUDs (29.5%) or the implant (23.1%).  At the end of the visit, 50% (n=39) initiated the pill, 6.41% (n=5) started the vaginal ring, 5.13% (n=4) received the shot, 2.56% (n=2) had an IUD inserted, 7.69% (n=6) left using condoms only, 3.84% (n=3) were using other non-hormonal methods, and almost one-quarter (24.36%, n=19) left without initiating a contraceptive method. 

Conclusions. Clinicians appear to exert strong influence on method choice and should incorporate information on all available methods, particularly for women who begin the counseling session with no preference for one method over another.

Learning Areas:

Clinical medicine applied in public health
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Identify the frequency with which various contraceptive methods are discussed during a typical contraceptive counseling session. Describe the relationship between contraceptive counseling and method choice among a sample of women initiating a new birth control method.

Keyword(s): Contraception, Family Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an author on this abstract because I am the Principal Investigator for this research study. I have over ten years of experience in the field of women's reproductive health. I am currently a postdoctoral research associate with the Office of Population Research at Princeton University.
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.