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"I feel like it gives me what I need to know": A qualitative study on adolescent perceptions of two contraceptive decision aids.

Contraception 2023 September 2
OBJECTIVES: We sought to understand how adolescents perceive two commonly used contraceptive decision aids and which elements adolescents identified as most important to them.

STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a cross-sectional qualitative study of adolescents' perceptions of two decision aids, Your Birth Control Choices designed by the Reproductive Health Access Project and Birth Control: What's Important to You? designed by Power to Decide for We conducted semistructured interviews with 20 adolescents (aged 15-19 years) who were assigned female sex at birth and attended a single clinic in North Carolina. Interview questions addressed the decision aids' aesthetic design, informational content, inclusivity, and comprehensibility. We transcribed and analyzed interviews using Dedoose software. We developed a codebook using a combination of a priori and inductive codes followed by content analysis to identify themes.

RESULTS: All participants agreed that both decision aids could be helpful with contraceptive decision-making and with patient-provider discussions. However, some phrasing and descriptions of contraceptive methods were confusing. Participants preferred realistic imagery, clear explanations of side effects, and details on method use. Participants expressed a preference for the information contained in the detailed Reproductive Health Access Project decision aid, while most favored the aesthetic design and layout of the Bedsider decision aid.

CONCLUSIONS: Although adolescents expressed sentiments of increased knowledge and empowerment after reviewing the decision aids, this study suggests neither decision aid completely meets adolescent needs and preferences. Additional adaptations are necessary to create adolescent-centered contraceptive decision aids.

IMPLICATIONS: Adolescents in this study found two contraceptive decision aids as useful adjuncts to conversations with providers. The decision aids improved contraceptive knowledge and may facilitate decision-making. However, neither of the studied decision aids fully met the perceived needs of adolescents. Future adaptations or designs should include additional adolescent-centered content.

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