Objective: To measure agreement between the client's and the clinician's responses to questions regarding client history as answered on a questionnaire based on the UK Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use (UKMEC) for combined hormonal contraception (CHC).
Methods: Clients aged 18 years and over, attending a central London community contraceptive clinic requesting a repeat supply of CHC, completed a history questionnaire and an evaluation form. Clinicians then completed their copy of the same questionnaire during the consultation. Percentage agreement and the Kappa statistic were used to assess the level of client-clinician agreement.
Results: Data from 328 client-clinician pairs were analysed. Agreement was above 93% for all identified risk factors. There was complete agreement for thrombosis, diabetes, stroke, cancer and liver problems. Least agreement was noted in the recording of migraine and abnormal bleeding. For all risk factors except smoking, the proportion of clients reporting a risk factor was more than the proportion of clinicians reporting a risk factor. No clinically important information relevant to a particular client's use of CHC was missed and none of them would have been wrongly prescribed the CHC based just on their self-completed questionnaires. Most women (97%) were happy with this method of history taking.
Conclusions: A self-completed history questionnaire is acceptable to women and can potentially replace traditional routine medical history taking for continuing CHC. Women completed the questionnaire with a high degree of reliability. There was complete client-clinician agreement on UKMEC Category 4 criteria. Overall, clients reported more risk factors than clinicians, which increases the safety of the questionnaire.