Recommendations for intrauterine contraception: a randomized trial of the effects of patients' race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Oct;203(4):319.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2010.05.009. Epub 2010 Jul 2.


Objective: Recommendations by health care providers have been found to vary by patient race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status and may contribute to health disparities. This study investigated the effect of these factors on recommendations for contraception.

Study design: One of 18 videos depicting patients of varying sociodemographic characteristics was shown to each of 524 health care providers. Providers indicated whether they would recommend levonorgestrel intrauterine contraception to the patient shown in the video.

Results: Low socioeconomic status whites were less likely to have intrauterine contraception recommended than high socioeconomic status whites (odds ratio [OR], 0.20; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.06-0.69); whereas, socioeconomic status had no significant effect among Latinas and blacks. By race/ethnicity, low socioeconomic status Latinas and blacks were more likely to have intrauterine contraception recommended than low socioeconomic status whites (OR, 3.4; and 95% CI, 1.1-10.2 and OR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.0-9.6, respectively), with no effect of race/ethnicity for high socioeconomic status patients.

Conclusion: Providers may have biases about intrauterine contraception or make assumptions about its use based on patient race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices, Medicated*
  • Levonorgestrel / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Racial Groups*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class*
  • Videotape Recording


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Levonorgestrel