One-time provider training has lasting impacts on patient-centered LARC counseling

For immediate release: March 26, 2018

Contact: Rebecca Griffin, [email protected], 415.206.4456


In a time of attacks on reproductive health funding and services, patients often have to navigate significant barriers to access the birth control method that is right for them. If a patient finds themselves with a provider who has misinformation or bias about a particular method, it puts up another roadblock. New research from the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology shows that a training intervention can significantly increase the likelihood that health care providers will integrate long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) into the care they offer patients.

“Patients deserve evidence-based information about all options to choose the birth control method that’s best for them,” said Dr. Cynthia Harper of the Bixby Center, lead investigator on the study. “This efficient training offers a model that can help providers around the country offer high-quality, effective contraceptive care.”

Providers often have incorrect assumptions about LARC, such as that they are inappropriate for people who have never given birth or for teens. If counselors don’t feel comfortable with a particular method, they may not bring it up at all.

For the study, clinicians and health educators in the intervention group at Planned Parenthood health centers in 15 states were offered a 4-hour UCSF-accredited continuing education course that shared updated evidence on IUDs and implants and hands-on training on IUD insertion and contraceptive counseling.

The study shows significant changes in providers’ attitudes, knowledge and practices in the group that received the training. A full year after the training course, providers who participated were more likely to have knowledge about which patients are eligible, to feel experienced enough to talk about LARC and to routinely discuss LARC in contraceptive counseling sessions.

This training offers a scalable solution that can help providers around the country to increase their knowledge and comfort with LARC and support informed, patient-centered contraceptive counseling.