Contraception for Adolescents and Young Adults in the Inpatient Setting: The Providers' Perspective

Hosp Pediatr. 2018 Apr;8(4):194-199. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2017-0167. Epub 2018 Mar 1.


Objectives: To assess pediatric providers' attitudes and barriers to initiating a contraceptive method in the inpatient setting.

Methods: Pediatric attending physicians and trainees from 5 academic institutions were surveyed about contraceptive prescribing practices, attitudes, and potential barriers to initiating contraception in the inpatient setting.

Results: In 2016, 271 pediatric providers (34.0% were attending physicians, 18.1% fellows, and 47.9% residents) completed the survey; the response rate was 19.2%. Most participants practiced in both inpatient and outpatient settings (95.7% and 85.0%, respectively). More providers felt confident screening for sexual activity among young adults as compared with adolescents (71.9% vs 65.6%). The same was true for discussing contraceptive options (44.0% vs 38.8%, respectively). Inpatient providers reported seeing adolescents and young adults privately, discussing confidentiality, and asking about sex less than half of the time. More than 80% of providers agreed that it would be appropriate to initiate a contraceptive method for inpatients; 35.8% had done so, and 85.2% indicated that having additional consultation would increase initiation of a contraceptive method in the hospital (88.1% felt similarly for long-active reversible contraception methods). General barriers to initiating contraception included insufficient training, insufficient exposure to adolescents and young adults to maintain skills, and lack of time. Barriers specific to the inpatient setting included concerns about follow-up, confidentiality, and interference with the treatment plan.

Conclusions: Initiation of a contraceptive method in the inpatient setting is acceptable to providers. In our findings, it is suggested that strategies are needed to enhance provision of these services by addressing confidentiality concerns and educating providers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Contraception*
  • Counseling*
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Family Planning Services
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Inpatients* / psychology
  • Inpatients* / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult