What matters most? The content and concordance of patients' and providers' information priorities for contraceptive decision making

Contraception. 2014 Sep;90(3):280-7. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2014.04.012. Epub 2014 Apr 30.


Objective(s): The objective of this study was to identify women's and health care providers' information priorities for contraceptive decision making and counseling, respectively.

Study design: Cross-sectional surveys were administered online to convenience samples of 417 women and 188 contraceptive care providers residing in the United States. Participants were provided with a list of 34 questions related to the features of contraceptive options and rated the importance of each. Participants also ranked the questions in descending order of importance. For both women and providers, we calculated the mean importance rating for each question and the proportion that ranked each question in their three most important questions.

Results: The average importance ratings given by women and providers were similar for 18 questions, but dissimilar for the remaining 16 questions. The question rated most important for women was "How does it work to prevent pregnancy?" whereas, for providers, "How often does a patient need to remember to use it?" and "How is it used?" were rated equally. The eight questions most frequently selected in the top three by women and/or providers were related to the safety of the method, mechanism of action, mode of use, side effects, typical- and perfect-use effectiveness, frequency of administration and when it begins to prevent pregnancy.

Conclusion(s): Although we found considerable concordance between women's and provider's information priorities, the presence of some inconsistencies highlights the importance of patient-centered contraceptive counseling and, in particular, shared contraceptive decision making.

Implications: This study provides insights into the information priorities of women for their contraceptive decision making and health care providers for contraceptive counseling. These insights are critical both to inform the development of decision support tools for implementation in contraceptive care and to guide the delivery of patient-centered care.

Keywords: Contraception; Family planning; Needs assessment; Patient education; Patient-centered care; Shared decision making.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Consumer Health Information*
  • Contraception Behavior*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Promotion*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Precision Medicine
  • United States
  • Young Adult