Ability to receive informed choice impacts upon contraception uptake and compliance
Rochelle Hamilton Barwon Health, Geelong, Australia - firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: Previous research highlights significant uptake of various contraceptives for women of all ages. More recently, studies support long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) specifically for younger women for efficacy, cost and return to fertility. So why do a high number of unplanned pregnancies and subsequent need for termination continue? This outcome is not only about risky sexual behaviour. If women are not supported to make informed choices, poor uptake and poor compliance with contraception continue. Aim: Although previous studies have primarily focused on risky sexual behaviours with adolescents, this research aims to explore the relationship between the education health care professionals (HCP) impart versus the understanding the woman has of the contraceptive. Consequently, this has an impact upon compliance and subsequent efficacy of contraceptives. Method: The clinical information obtained during the period 2001 - 2011 included 3,500 women aged between 12 - 53 years attending a public health setting for first trimester surgical termination. The information collected is part of routine counselling undertaken by all attending. The data collected was originally for a different purpose, however the findings highlighted various themes. Results: Findings revealed that a large percentage of women chose not to use specific contraceptives largely due to a combination of either real or perceived information they receive from their HCP. Additionally, it appears implementation of Quick Start methods is not routinely undertaken. Further barriers to utilisation of LARCs appear to include health literacy, socio-economic status and age. Conclusion: Negative consequences of unplanned pregnancy affect women of all ages. Poor choice or no choice of contraception, together with poor information and preconceived ideas about specific contraceptives by both the HCP and the woman contribute to poor compliance. Education needs to be improved first line to HCP's with unbiased views so all options are available from a biopsychosocial delivery point.