Determinants of intrauterine contraception provision among US family physicians: a national survey of knowledge, attitudes and practice

Contraception. 2011 May;83(5):472-8. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2010.10.003. Epub 2010 Dec 3.


Background: Poor contraception adherence contributes to unintended pregnancy. Intrauterine contraception (IUC) is user-independent thus adherence is not an issue, yet few US women use IUC. We compared family physicians (FPs) who do and do not insert IUC in order to ascertain determinants of inserting IUC.

Study design: We surveyed 3500 US FPs. The primary outcome variable was whether a physician inserts IUC in their current clinical practice. We also sought to describe their clinical practice with IUC insertions.

Results: FPs who insert IUC had better knowledge about IUC (adjusted OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.32-2.60), more comfort discussing IUC (adjusted OR 2.35, 95% CI 1.30-4.27), and were more likely to believe their patients are receptive to discussing IUC (adjusted OR 2.96, 95% CI 2.03-4.32). The more IUC inserted during residency, the more likely to insert currently (adjusted OR 1.44, 95% CI 1.12-1.84). Only 24% of respondents inserted IUC in the prior 12 months.

Conclusions: US FPs have training and knowledge gaps, as well as attitudes, that result in missed opportunities to discuss and provide IUC for all eligible patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physicians, Family / psychology*
  • Physicians, Family / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Unplanned*
  • United States
  • Young Adult