Translating Research to Practice

Romero L, Pazol K, Warner L, Gavin L, et al. Vital Signs: Trends in Use of Long Acting Reversible Contraception Among Teens Aged 15-19 Years Seeking Contraceptive Services – United States, 2005-2013. CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2015; 64:1-7.

This 2015 report presents Title X National Family Planning Program data on the use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) among teens 15-19 years. In 2013, Title X service sites alone provided family planning services, including contraceptive care, to approximately 1 million teens. The authors attribute such reach as a key driver of the overall increase in LARC use among teens in recent years (although national LARC use rates remain low at <5%). At title X service delivery sites nationwide, the percentage of teens using a LARC method increased from 0.4% in 2005 to 7.4% in 2013. In the early 2000s, teens selected the IUD as their method of choice at a higher rate than the contraceptive implant; however, by the end of 2013, the prevalence of implant use (4.3%) among teens surpassed that of IUD use (2.8%), revealing a possible shift in preference. While teen LARC use continues to rise nationally, wide variation was observed by State, with a low of 0.7% in Mississippi to a high of 25.8% in Colorado. Of note, LARC use among teens in New York State was reported as 8.5% in 2013. The authors suggest that this wide variation may reflect the impact of State-specific policies and programs on teens' access to LARC methods. To access this full article, click here.

Stern L, Simons H, Kohn J, Debevec E, Morfesis J, Patel A. Differences in contraceptive use between family planning providers and the U.S. population: results of a nationwide survey. Contraception. 2015.

In this article, Stern et al., compare data on contraceptive use among family planning providers to that of the general population of women aged 25 to 44. Female family planning providers, including physicians and advanced practice clinicians, were significantly more likely to select an IUD, implant, or vaginal ring as their contraceptive method in relation to the general population. According to the data, 41.7% of family planning providers reported use of a LARC method compared to only 12.1% of women. These dramatic results were consistent when stratified by race and education level. Commonly cited barriers to contraceptive initiation include method cost, contraceptive knowledge, and access; however, as a population, family planning providers face fewer of these barriers, as they are familiar with evidence-based contraceptive care and understand how to access it. Additional studies, including those released by the Contraceptive Choice Project in St. Louis, reflect these findings, specifically that, when access and knowledge barriers are removed, women overwhelming choose LARC methods. Full article provided upon request.

Kreuter M, Lukwago S, Bucholtz D, Clark E, Sanders-Thompson V. Achieving Cultural Appropriateness in Health Promotion Programs: Targeted and Tailored Approaches. Health Education and Behavior. 2002; 30(2):133-146.

In this article, Kreuter, et al., identify elements of and present strategies for engaging priority populations through the use of targeted, culturally appropriate outreach interventions. A growing body of evidence suggests that outreach interventions are most effective when tailored to meet the needs of the specific population. Kreuter, et al., suggest a framework that incorporates community input and addresses cultural values related to the health issue of focus. The authors suggest that creating culturally appropriate outreach messaging and materials requires the strategic engagement of multiple community members, as many efforts to develop culturally appropriate messages often attempt to target populations based on group-level observations or assumptions. Tailoring interventions is especially important within family planning, a field in which deep cultural values and personal beliefs intermix to influence behavior. To access this full article, click here.