Providers as partners in contraceptive decision-making

A new UCSF study finds that women choosing a birth control method are most satisfied with their decision-making process when their provider is engaged but not overbearing. Researchers asked women whether their process of selecting a birth control method felt driven primarily by them or by their provider, or if it felt like a shared decision. The study also evaluated women’s satisfaction with the method they ultimately chose.

Patient in counseling with provider

Credit: Cindy Chew

Women who felt they shared in their contraceptive decision with their provider were most satisfied with both the decision-making process and the contraceptive method they selected. Women who felt their provider dominated the decision-making were least satisfied with the process. Also, women who perceived that their provider was biased toward a particular method ended up less satisfied with the method they chose.

These findings support a growing body of evidence, including another recent study by UCSF researchers, suggesting that contraceptive care is most effective when it incorporates and respects women’s individual preferences.