Increasing the availability of long-acting reversible contraception and medical abortion in primary care: the Australian Contraception and Abortion Primary Care Practitioner Support Network (AusCAPPS) cohort study protocol

BMJ Open. 2022 Dec 15;12(12):e065583. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-065583.


Introduction: Although primary care practitioners are the main providers of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) and early medical abortion (EMA) in Australia, few provide these services. A professional community of practice (CoP) has the potential to improve LARC and EMA provision through evidence-based guidance, expert support and peer-to-peer engagement.The primary objective is to establish, implement and evaluate an innovative, multidisciplinary online CoP (AusCAPPS Network) to increase LARC and EMA services in Australian primary care. Secondary objectives are to (1) increase the number of general practitioners (GPs) and pharmacists certified to provide or dispense EMA, respectively, (2) increase LARC and EMA prescription rates and, (3) improve primary care practitioners' knowledge, attitudes and provision of LARC and EMA.

Methods and analysis: A stakeholder knowledge exchange workshop (KEW) will be conducted to inform the AusCAPPS Network design. Once live, we aim to reach 3000 GPs, practice nurses and community pharmacists members. Changes in the number of GPs and pharmacists certified to provide or dispense EMA, respectively, and changes in the number of LARCs and EMAs prescribed will be gleaned through health service data. Changes in the knowledge attitudes and practices will be gleaned through an online survey with 500 individuals from each professional group at baseline and 12 months after members have joined AusCAPPs; and experiences of the AusCAPPS Network will be evaluated using interviews with the project team plus a convenience sample of 20 intervention participants from each professional group. The project is underpinned by the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation and Maintenance framework, and a realist framework will inform analysis.

Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval was received from the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (No. 28002). Dissemination will occur through KEWs, presentations, publications and domestic and international networks.

Trial registration number: ACTRN12622000655741.


Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Cohort Studies
  • Contraception / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Long-Acting Reversible Contraception*
  • Pregnancy
  • Primary Health Care

Associated data

  • ANZCTR/ACTRN12622000655741