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Advance provision of emergency contraception through Family Planning Clinics: a feasibility study - contraception-esc.com

Advance provision of emergency contraception through Family Planning Clinics: a feasibility study

Advance provision of emergency contraception through Family Planning

Clinics: a feasibility study

A. Kasliwal (1), J. Whitmore (2)

Palatine Centre, Manchester, UK (1); St Helens Primary Care Trust,

Merseyside, UK (2)

Background: Oral Emergency Contraception (EC) is safe and effective.

The earlier treatment is started after the episode of risk, the more effective

it is likely to be. However, current organisation of family planning services

limits access to EC out of hours, on weekends and holidays. Access has improved

with pharmacy provision without prescription, but it is unlikely to meet the

total contraceptive and sexual health needs of clients. Community based

specialist family planning services are well placed to offer advance provision

of EC along with the package of future contraceptive and sexual health advice.

Aims: This study explored client perspectives, staff attitudes,

purchaser and manager opinion about introducing advance prescribing of EC (AEC)

into a community family planning service.

Methodology: Clients’ views were obtained by anonymous,

self-administered waiting room questionnaires. Staff attitudes were determined

by confidential, postal questionnaires. Key management personnel were

interviewed.

Results: Vast majority of clients (88%) would be willing to take AEC

if offered. A quarter of the responding clients (23%) had concerns regarding ‘misuse’

and safety of AEC. Of the 64.4% responders to the staff questionnaires, 92% were

willing to provide AEC. The rest were unsure, but would give AEC under clear

guidelines. The senior clinical managerial staff was supportive but funding

emerged as the main problem.

Conclusions: The introduction of provision of AEC through the

community family planning clinics was well supported by clients and staff.

Counselling of clients regarding regular and effective contraceptive methods is

essential. Funding is the main barrier to introduction of AEC.

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