Telemedicine for Adolescent and Young Adult Long-Acting Reversible Contraception Follow-Up Care amidst a Global Pandemic

J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2023 Feb;36(1):51-57. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2022.08.002. Epub 2022 Aug 7.


Study objective: To describe adolescent and young adult (AYA) long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) follow-up care via telemedicine in the year following the COVID-19 pandemic onset DESIGN: Longitudinal cohort study SETTING: Three academic adolescent medicine clinics in the United States PARTICIPANTS: AYAs using LARC INTERVENTIONS: None MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The main outcome measures were patient characteristics, visit information (frequency, timing, and modality), patient-reported symptoms, and outcomes for those presenting for LARC follow-up care between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the sample. χ2 tests and t tests were used to compare groups. Adjusted logistic regression models using general estimating equations were applied to assess factors associated with telemedicine visits and to examine visit outcomes.

Results: Of the 319 AYAs (ages 13.6-25.7 years), 40.1% attended at least one LARC telemedicine visit. Patients attending any telemedicine encounter vs only in-person visits had similar demographic and clinical characteristics. Of the 426 follow-up visits, 270 (63.4%) were conducted in person and 156 (36.6%) were performed via telemedicine. Most visits (62.7%) occurred within 12 months of device insertion. Reports of bothersome uterine bleeding beyond patient expectations (OR = 1.26; 95% CI, 0.80-1.96), any symptom (OR = 1.40; 95% CI, 0.94-2.10), or 2 or more symptoms (OR = 1.22; 95% CI, 0.67-2.22) at follow-up was not associated, positively or negatively, with mode of follow-up. Management of bleeding (OR = 1.27; 95% CI, 0.56-2.89), management of acne (P = .46), and need for rapid follow-up (P = .33) were similar between follow-up modalities.

Conclusions: Patient demographic/clinical characteristics and visit outcomes were similar between telemedicine and in-person LARC follow-up. Telemedicine could play an important role in AYA LARC care.

Keywords: Adolescent; COVID-19; Follow-up; Long-acting reversible contraception; Telemedicine; Virtual care; Young adult.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aftercare
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Contraception
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Long-Acting Reversible Contraception*
  • Pandemics
  • Telemedicine*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult