Background: We describe the contraceptive counseling provided by the Contraceptive CHOICE Project (CHOICE) and compare contraceptive methods selected between the university research site and community partner clinics.
Study design: We developed a structured, contraceptive counseling program. All CHOICE participants enrolling at our university research site underwent the counseling, which was evidence-based and included information about all reversible contraception. Participants enrolling at partner clinics underwent "usual" counseling. We trained 54 research team members to provide contraceptive counseling; the majority had no formal health care training. We compared the contraceptive methods chosen by participants enrolling at our university research site to participants enrolling at partner clinics who did not undergo structured contraceptive counseling.
Results: There were 6,530 (86%) women who enrolled into CHOICE at our university site and 1,107 (14%) women who enrolled at partner clinics. Uptake of long-acting reversible contraception was high at both the university site and partner clinics (72% and 78%, respectively, p<.0001). However, uptake of the intrauterine device was higher at the university site (58% compared to 43%, p<.0001) and uptake of the subdermal implant was higher at partner clinics (35% versus 14%, p<.0001). After adjusting for confounders, we found no difference in the uptake of long-acting reversible contraception between women counseled at the university site compared to partner clinics (adjusted relative risk=0.98, 95% confidence interval [0.94, 1.02]).
Conclusion: Structured contraceptive counseling can be effectively provided in a clinical research setting by staff without prior health care experience or clinical training.
Keywords: Contraceptive counseling; Intrauterine device; Long-acting reversible contraception; Subdermal implant.
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