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Reasons for early discontinuation of the contraceptive implant in adolescents: A qualitative study

Britt Lunde, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 2013

Project abstract

Teenage pregnancy is a major public health problem in the United States. Increased use of highly effective contraceptive methods, like implants and intrauterine devices, is recommended for adolescents to decrease their high rates of unintended pregnancy. However, teens may be more likely than adults to discontinue these methods early.

Women ages 13–24 who have the implant removed within six months of placement will be asked what they understood about side effects from counseling, how those expectations differed from what they actually experienced using the method, and what they would have liked to know about the method before they started using it. They will also be asked about their decision-making process in choosing the implant and outside influences on their choice.

In this qualitative study, semi-structured interviews will be conducted with adolescents who discontinue their implant within the first six months. Subjects will be recruited until thematic saturation is reached for the main study questions. Transcripts of the interviews will be coded and analyzed to identify salient themes

This study seeks to develop a better understanding of adolescents’ perceptions of side effects based on counseling compared to side effects experienced during use. This information will be used to guide development of a counseling tool to improve communication with teens about side effects, with the goal of decreasing early discontinuation among those who choose to use the method.


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