This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.
What is the research about?
More than half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. An unintended pregnancy happens when a woman doesn’t want children at all, wants children but in the future, or doesn’t want more children. Unintended pregnancy often happens because women do not have a birth control method that fits their needs. To find a birth control method that works for them, women must be able to talk with healthcare providers about what they want.
This study compares two decision aids about birth control. Decision aids help people choose between two or more healthcare options based on what is most important to them. The research team wants to see if the decision aids lead to better conversations between patients and their doctors about birth control options and preferences.
Who can this research help?
This research can help women who are considering birth control and their healthcare providers choose a method that best fits the women’s needs.
What is the research team doing?
The research team is enrolling up to 3,000 girls and women ages 15 to 49 years old at 16 healthcare clinics in the United States. The team is dividing the healthcare clinics into four groups by chance. Each group is using one of four options for helping women choose birth control:
- In the first group, women watch a brief video at the clinic before the healthcare visit. The video suggests three questions a woman can ask her doctor to help her choose the best birth control method to meet her needs: What are my options, what are the pros and cons of these options, and how likely are these pros and cons to happen to me? Women also receive a “prompt card” with the video that reminds them of the questions from the video.
- The second group uses a set of decision aids called Option Grids that help doctors and patients compare birth control methods based on what matters most to the patient. Healthcare providers use these Option Grids during the patient’s appointment. In addition, healthcare providers review a five-minute training video on how to use the Option Grids.
- The third group uses both the patient video with prompt cards and the Option Grids.
- At the fourth group of clinics, doctors provide care for women seeking birth control as they normally would.
The research team is surveying patients after their clinic visits to find out how women chose their birth control method, which method they chose, and if the method the patients chose meets their needs and lifestyle. One month and six months after the first survey, the research team is surveying patients again to ask
- If the women have been using their chosen birth control method
- How often the women have been using their chosen birth control method, and whether they are using it consistently
- How satisfied the women are with their chosen birth control method
- If the women have had an unintended pregnancy
Before the project started, the research team conducted a survey to learn the needs and viewpoints of more than 600 women and birth control providers. The research team also held a more in-depth conversation with representatives from patient and other interested groups. Patients, doctors, and women’s health experts helped plan the project and are providing ongoing advice to the research team.
Research methods at a glance
|Video posted with permission, courtesy of Rachel Lee Thompson.|
Right For Me: Study Protocol (right)
A patient partner highlights the study protocol of this project to guide the shared decision making process between women and their healthcare providers about birth control options.