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The influence of oral contraceptive knowledge on oral contraceptive continuation among young women

Publication Abstract

Hall, Kelli Stidham, P.M. Castaño, and C.L. Westhoff. 2014. "The influence of oral contraceptive knowledge on oral contraceptive continuation among young women." Journal of Women's Health, 23(7): 596-601.

Abstract Background: Using a multidimensional approach, we assessed young women's knowledge of oral contraceptives (OC) and its influence on OC continuation rates. Methods: We used data from 659 women aged 13-25 years participating in a randomized controlled trial of an educational text message OC continuation intervention. Women received 6 months of daily text messages or routine care. At baseline and 6 months, we administered a comprehensive 41-item questionnaire measuring knowledge of OC's mechanism, effectiveness, use, side effects, risks, and benefits. We ascertained OC continuation status and reasons for discontinuation at 6 months. We analyzed relationships between OC knowledge and continuation with multivariable logistic regression. Results: Young women scored, on average, 22.8 out of 41 points on the OC knowledge assessment at baseline and 24.7 points at 6 months. The 6-month OC continuation rate was 59%. OC continuers had >2-points-higher OC knowledge scores at 6 months than discontinuers (p<0.001). Those who reported discontinuing their OCs for side effects and forgetfulness scored >2 points lower than women who discontinued for other reasons (p-values<0.001). In multivariable regression models, each correct response on the baseline and 6-month knowledge assessments was associated with a 4% and 6% increased odds of OC continuation, respectively. Six-month OC knowledge scores were negatively associated with OC discontinuation due to side effects (odds ratio [OR] 0.94) and forgetfulness (OR 0.88). Conclusions: OC knowledge, which was low among young women in our study, was associated with OC continuation and common reasons for discontinuation. Continued efforts to characterize relationships between OC knowledge and behavior and to test the effectiveness of different components of interventions aimed at increasing knowledge, addressing side effects, and improving use of OCs are warranted.

DOI:10.1089/jwh.2013.4574 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC4088347. (Pub Med Central)

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