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Providing family planning counseling services for women with chronic medical conditions in an inpatient setting: A randomized feasibility trial.

Contraception 2023 August 6
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of providing bedside family planning services to women with chronic medical conditions in the inpatient setting.

STUDY DESIGN: We initiated a parallel randomized controlled trial of patients listed as female aged 18 to 44 years who were admitted to the hospital from February 2018 to May 2021 with at least one chronic medical condition associated with lower rates of contraception usage and no documentation of contraception. Patients who confirmed they were not using contraception were enrolled and randomized to one of three arms. They either received bedside family planning counseling and an offer of contraception prior to discharge (OCPs, etonogestrel implant or medroxyprogesterone injection), received a flyer recommending they talk with their outpatient physician about contraception, or received standard care. Primary outcomes were contraception use three months and 12 months after discharge.

RESULTS: Altogether 76 subjects were enrolled and randomized with 22 in the counseling arm and 27 each in the other arms. In the counseling arm, five (23%; 95% CI: 8.0%- 45%) elected to receive contraception prior to discharge. Inferential statistics at follow up were not able to be calculated due to high attrition.

CONCLUSIONS: Providing counseling and offering immediate contraception initiation in the inpatient setting may be a feasible approach to improving contraception access for this population. Additional investigation into the acceptability, efficacy and generalizability of this approach is warranted.

GOV IDENTIFIER: NCT05859087 IMPLICATIONS: Utilizing the inpatient setting may be a feasible approach for delivering contraception counseling to women with chronic medical conditions. This approach merits further study for effectiveness and acceptability. This study highlights the need for contraceptive counseling and initiation to become a standard part of hospital care for pregnancy-capable individuals.

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