Assessing the quality and content of contraceptive counseling visits
Recent Bixby research has documented the importance of high-quality, patient-centered contraceptive counseling. But, what are patients and providers actually discussing during counseling visits and how do those conversations compare to ideal counseling standards?
A new study used audio recordings of visits, as well as patient surveys, to analyze both their quality and content. The vast majority (90%) of patients were “completely or very satisfied” with “how their provider helped them choose a contraceptive method.” At the same time, the analysis also revealed several areas in which providers can improve communication, including:
- Discussing pregnancy intention (occurred in only 51% of visits)
- Giving patient a chance to ask questions (53% of visits)
- Discussing emergency contraception (32% of visits)
- Mentioning the use of condoms to prevent STIs (29% of visits)
- Explaining how to follow up if patient dislikes chosen method (62% of visits)
By helping providers identify the strengths and weaknesses of their counseling, we can develop better support tools for them and ensure patients’ contraceptive preferences and needs are fully met.