Pilot evaluation of an internet-based natural family planning education and service program

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. May-Jun 2011;40(3):281-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2011.01237.x. Epub 2011 Apr 13.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy, knowledge of fertility, and acceptability of a web-based natural family planning (NFP) education and service program.

Design: A 6-month repeated measure longitudinal evaluation pilot study.

Setting: A university based online website.

Participants: The website was piloted with 468 volunteer women seeking NFP services. Of these participants, 222 used the automatic online fertility charting system to avoid pregnancy. The 222 charting participants had a mean age of 29.9 years (SD=5.6), 2.2 children (SD=1.9), 37% were postpartum, and 47% had regular menstrual cycle lengths.

Intervention: Nurse-managed web-based NFP education and service program.

Outcomes: Pregnancies were confirmed by an online self-assessed pregnancy evaluation form. A 10-item fertility quiz and 10-item acceptability survey was administered online.

Results: Among the 222 users avoiding pregnancy, at 6 months of use, there were two correct-use unintended pregnancies that provided a pregnancy rate of 2% and seven total unintended pregnancies providing a typical use pregnancy rate of 7%. Mean knowledge of fertility increased significantly from time of registration (8.96, SD=1.10) to 1 month of use (9.46, SD=.10), t=4.60, p<.001). Acceptability increased nonsignificantly from 1 month of use (45.6; SD=8.98) to 6 months of use (48.4; SD=8.77).

Conclusion: The nurse-managed online NFP system seems to provide adequate knowledge of fertility and help participants meet pregnancy intentions. Acceptability of such a system of NFP is still in question.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Family Planning Services / methods*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Natural Family Planning Methods / methods*
  • Nurse's Role
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Patient Participation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Preconception Care / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Women's Health
  • Young Adult