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Increasing Access to Emergency Contraception, Non-emergent Contraception, and LARC Referrals in the Emergency Room: A Resident-based Educational Intervention

 

Purpose: The aim of this study is to determine whether an educational intervention improves emergency medicine residents\' knowledge of and personal comfort with prescribing EC, offering non-emergent contraception, and referring patients for LARCs.

 

Background: Approximately 50% of pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Increasing access to emergency contraception (EC), non-emergent contraception, and long-acting reversible contraception methods (LARCs) is one way of decreasing unintended pregnancies. Emergency rooms enable physicians to assess a woman\'s risk of unintended pregnancy and afford an opportunity to intervene, if appropriate. Previous studies have found that emergency medicine physicians do not always offer EC, even in cases of sexual assault. Barriers to prescribing EC have been identified and include time constraints, lack of clinical resources, concern about discouraging regular birth control, and concern about birth defects.

 

Methods: Emergency medicine residents were given an interactive lecture on contraception with emphasis on EC. They were also given a pocketbook on contraception to keep. Pre- and post-lecture surveys were given in person, along with another 6 months later. The surveys assessed knowledge, comfort level, and prescribing/referring practices with both quantitative data and qualitative data. Data will also be extracted from the electronic medical record to assess if there was an increase in prescriptions for contraception and/or referrals to family planning.

 

Results: The preliminary data analysis is currently being conducted. Twenty-three emergency medicine residents completed the pre- and post-test surveys. Additional information from prescriptions and referrals will provide objective data to assess whether the educational intervention changed behavior.

 

Discussions: There are two hypotheses for this study. First, it is hypothesized that an educational intervention will increase emergency medicine residents\' knowledge of and comfort with EC, non-emergent contraception, and LARCs. Second, there will be a significant increase in prescriptions for EC, non-emergent contraception, and referrals for LARCs one year after the educational intervention takes place. If the hypotheses are correct, residency programs and hospitals should consider developing educational strategies and policies to improve access to contraception in the emergency room and prevent unintended pregnancy.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2019, Student, Resident, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Clerkship Coordinator, Osteopathic Faculty, Residency Director, Residency Coordinator, Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement, GME, CME, Assessment, Lecture, Quality & Safety, Contraception or Family Planning,

General Information


Intended
Audience
Student,Resident,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Clerkship Coordinator,Osteopathic Faculty,Residency Director,Residency Coordinator,
Competencies
Addressed
Patient Care,Medical Knowledge,Systems-Based Practice & Improvement,
Educational
Continuum
GME,CME,
Educational
Focus
Assessment,Lecture,Quality & Safety,
Clinical Focus
Contraception or Family Planning,

Author Information

Veronica Alvarez-Galiana, MD, MSEd, Emory University; Lauren Ahlschlager, MPH; Eva Lathrop, MD, MPH; Lisa Haddad, MD, MS, MPH

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