Health care providers' knowledge about contraceptive evidence: a barrier to quality family planning care?

Contraception. 2010 Apr;81(4):292-8. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2009.11.006. Epub 2009 Dec 11.


Background: The underuse of effective contraceptive methods by women at risk for unintended pregnancy is a major factor contributing to the high rate of unintended pregnancy in the United States. As health care providers are important contributors to women's contraceptive use, this study was conducted to assess provider knowledge about contraception.

Study design: Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed using data collected from a convenience sample of health care providers (physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants) at meetings of the professional societies of family medicine and obstetrics and gynecology.

Results: Younger providers were more knowledgeable, as were obstetrician/gynecologists, female providers and providers who provide intrauterine contraception in their practice.

Conclusions: The lack of consistent and accurate knowledge about contraception among providers has the potential to dramatically affect providers' ability to provide quality contraceptive care for their patients, which could have an impact on their ability to prevent unintended pregnancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contraception*
  • Family Planning Services / methods*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Unplanned*
  • United States