Background: Contraceptives are among the most commonly prescribed medications used by women of reproductive age, but little is known about women's information-seeking behavior after receiving prescriptions for medication.
Study design: All reproductive-age women who visited one of four primary care clinics in Western Pennsylvania between October 2008 and April 2010 were invited to complete a follow-up survey after their visit which included questions regarding medications prescribed, information-seeking after their visit and their perceptions of the quality of the information they found.
Results: Of the 218 women prescribed contraceptives, 49% sought additional information after their visit. In models adjusted for sociodemographic and reproductive characteristics of the respondents, women who received a contraceptive prescription were twice as likely to seek additional information about their medication as women who received noncontraceptive prescriptions [odds ratio (OR)=2.06, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.47-2.90]. Women who received a contraceptive prescription were more likely to seek information from the Internet (OR=1.84, 95% CI 1.26-2.70) and from the package insert (OR=1.55, 95% CI 1.02-2.36) than women who received noncontraceptive prescriptions.
Conclusions: Women frequently sought additional information on contraceptive prescriptions. Efforts are needed to increase the quantity and improve the quality of contraceptive counseling provided by primary care providers and the quality of the information provided by package inserts and the Internet.
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