Objective: The purpose of this study was to understand the relationship between daily contextual factors and oral contraceptive (OC) adherence among students who attend college or graduate school.
Study design: Data on OC adherence, demographics, contextual factors, and side-effects were collected as part of the acceptability of the NuvaRing (Merck & Co, Whitehouse Station, NJ) vs OC study, in which students were assigned randomly to the contraceptive vaginal ring or to a low-dose OC. We performed bivariate and multivariable analyses to create an explanatory model for nonperfect OC adherence (missed at least 1 pill during 3 months of use).
Results: In a multivariable predictive model, missing a pill was associated positively with high perceived stress (odds ratio [OR], 3.16; P = .007), having ≥10 hours per week of paid employment (OR, 2.13; P = .075), and living with a partner (OR, 9.92; P = .040).
Conclusion: Stressful and hectic lives contribute to poor OC adherence. When counseling women about contraception, clinicians should consider the influence of daily life on contraceptive adherence.
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