Public and private providers' involvement in improving their patients' contraceptive use.
ABSTRACT This study measured differences in the provision of care between public and private providers of contraceptive services, what problems using contraception these providers perceived their patients to have and providers' views on how to improve their patients' method use.
A nationally representative mixed-mode survey (mail, Internet and fax) of private family practice and obstetrician/gynecologist physicians who provided contraceptive care in 2005 was conducted. A parallel survey was administered to public contraceptive care providers in community health centers, hospitals, Planned Parenthood clinics and other sites during the same period. Descriptive and multivariate analyses were conducted across both surveys.
A total of 1256 questionnaires were completed for a response rate of 62%. A majority of providers surveyed believed that over 10% of their contraceptive clients experienced ambivalence about avoiding pregnancy, underestimated the risk of pregnancy and failed to use contraception for one or more months when at risk for unintended pregnancy. Implementation of protocols to promote contraceptive use ranged widely among provider types: a full 78% of Panned Parenthood clinics offered quick-start pill initiation, as did 47% of public health departments. However, 38% of obstetrician-gynecologists, 27% of "other public" clinics and only 13% of family physicians did so. Both public and private providers reported that one of the most important things they could do to improve patients' contraceptive method use was to provide more and better counseling. At least 46% of private providers and at least 21% of public providers reported that changing insurance reimbursement to allow more time for counseling was very important.
Strategies to improve contraceptive use for all persons in need in the United States have the potential to be more effective if the challenges contraceptive providers face and the differences between public and private providers are taken into account.
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ABSTRACT: Each year, nearly one in four U.S. women at risk of unintended pregnancy experience one or more months of contraceptive nonuse. Understanding what factors are associated with risky contraceptive use patterns can inform programs and policies designed to reduce levels of unintended pregnancy. A nationally representative sample of 1,978 adult women at risk for unintended pregnancy was surveyed over the telephone in 2004. Respondents provided information on contraceptive use over the past 12 months. Multiple logistic regressions were used to identify factors associated with different contraceptive use patterns. Ambivalence about avoiding pregnancy was strongly associated with both contraceptive nonuse and having a gap in use while remaining at risk of unintended pregnancy (odds ratios, 2.4 and 2.0, respectively). Other significant predictors of either of these risky contraceptive behaviors were having less than a college education, being black, being 35-44 years old, having infrequent sexual intercourse, not being in a current relationship, being dissatisfied with one's method and believing that contraceptive service providers were not available to answer method-related questions (1.7-3.8). Providers could better help women avoid unintended pregnancy by initiating regular assessments of method use difficulties, improving counseling on method choice and pregnancy risk, and identifying and assisting women at higher risk for inconsistent method use because of disadvantage, relationship characteristics or ambivalence about pregnancy prevention. In addition to providers' efforts, broader societal commitment is critical for increasing contraceptive knowledge and expanding access to contraceptive care for all women who are at risk of having an unintended pregnancy.Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 07/2007; 39(2):90-9. · 1.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Unintended pregnancies account for about half of all pregnancies in the United States and, in 1995, numbered nearly 3 million pregnancies. They pose appreciable medical, emotional, social and financial costs on women, their families and society. The US is not attaining national goals to decrease unintended pregnancies, and little is known about effective means for reducing unintended pregnancy rates in adults or adolescents.To examine the evidence about the effectiveness, benefits and harms of counseling in a clinical setting to prevent unintended pregnancy in adults and adolescents and to use the evidence to propose a research agenda.We identified English-language articles from comprehensive searches of the MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsychLit and other databases from 1985 through May 2000; the main clinical search terms included pregnancy (mistimed, unintended, unplanned, unwanted), family planning, contraceptive behavior, counseling, sex counseling, and knowledge, attitudes and behavior. We also used published systematic reviews, hand searching of relevant articles, the second Guide to Clinical Preventive Services and extensive peer review to identify important articles not otherwise found and to assure completeness. Of 673 abstracts examined, we retained 354 for full article review; of these, we used 74 for the systematic evidence review and abstracted data from 13 articles for evidence tables. Four studies addressed the effectiveness of counseling in a clinical setting in changing knowledge, skills and attitudes about contraception and pregnancy; all had poor internal validity and generalizability and collectively did not provide definitive guidance about effective counseling strategies. Nine studies (three in teenage populations) addressed the relationship of knowledge on contraceptive use and adherence. Knowledge of correct contraceptive methods may be positively associated with appropriate use, but reservations about the method itself, partner support of the method, and women's beliefs about their own fertility are important determinants of method adherence that may attenuate the knowledge effect. Many factors influence contraceptive use and adherence; among them are age, marital status, ambivalence about becoming pregnant, attitudes of partner, side effects, satisfaction with provider and costs; however, the impact of such factors may not be consistent across populations defined by cultural, age or other factors. The studies themselves differed materially in outcome variables, populations and methodologies and did not yield a body of work that can reliably identify specific influences on contraceptive use and adherence. No literature reports on harms of counseling or on the costs or cost-effectiveness of different approaches to counseling about unintended conceptions in the primary care setting. Virtually no experimental or observational literature reliably answers questions about the effectiveness of counseling in the clinical setting to reduce rates of unintended (unwanted, mistimed) pregnancies in this country. Existing studies suffer from appreciable threats to internal validity and loss to follow-up and are extremely heterogeneous in terms of populations studied and outcomes measured. The quality of the existing research does not provide strong guidance for recommendations about clinical practice but does suggest directions for future investigations. Numerous issues warrant rigorous investigation.Contraception 03/2003; 67(2):115-32. · 3.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: As managed care enrollment has increased, controversy has arisen about the role of internists (IM), family physicians (FP), and obstetrician/gynecologists (ob/gyns) in the provision of women's health care. Efforts to improve training in women's health needs have also increased. Yet it is unclear how these trends have affected practice. We used the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), a nationally representative sample of office-based medical visits, to examine by physician specialty a) trends in the proportion of visits for women's health care and b) the content of nonillness care. Between 1985 and 1997-98, market share of reproductive health services increased for IMs (e.g., from 3.7% to 10.5% of contraceptive visits, p <.05) and decreased for FPs (from 30.5% to 20.5% for contraceptive visits, p <.05). Ob/Gyns increased their share of women's health care visits, with reproductive health visits increasing from 56.2% to 65.9% (p <.0001). The trend in hormone replacement therapy visits differed, with nonsignificant gains in market share for IMs and decreases for ob/gyns. Nonillness care (1997-98 data only) differed predictably by specialty, with IMs and FPs more often providing cholesterol screening while ob/gyns more often provided reproductive health services. Compared with IMs and FPs, ob/gyns were more likely to counsel women on reproductive health topics and equally likely to counsel on general health topics, but additional time spent in counseling was lower. Specialty differences in the provision of women's health services continue, though the scope of care provided by IMs has broadened. Still, women are unlikely to obtain a full range of preventive services in a single nonillness visit. Ensuring adequate coordination among physicians providing primary care to women continues to be a critical concern.Women s Health Issues 01/2002; 12(4):165-77. · 1.61 Impact Factor