Original research article| Volume 87, ISSUE 2, P242-250, February 2013

Computer-assisted provision of hormonal contraception in acute care settings



      We evaluated whether computerized counseling about contraceptive options and screening for contraindications increased women's subsequent knowledge and use of hormonal contraception.


      For the study 814 women aged 18���45 years were recruited from the waiting rooms of three emergency departments and an urgent care clinic staffed by non-gynecologists and asked to use a randomly selected computer module before seeing a clinician.


      Women in the intervention group were more likely to report receiving a contraceptive prescription when seeking acute care than women in the control group (16% vs. 1%, p=.001). Women who requested contraceptive refills were not less likely than women requesting new prescriptions to have potential contraindications to estrogen (75% of refills vs. 52% new, p=.23). Three months after visiting the clinic, women in the intervention group tended to be more likely to have used contraception at last intercourse (71% vs. 65%, p=.91) and to correctly answer questions about contraceptive effectiveness, but these differences were not statistically significant.


      Patient-facing computers appear to increase access to prescription contraception for women seeking acute care.


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