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MiLARC: A pilot web-based intervention to increase acceptability and knowledge of long acting reversible contraceptives among university students

Amy Caldwell, BS, MD Candidate, Regents of the University of Michigan

Project abstract

Background: Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) are highly effective but underutilized methods to reduce unintended pregnancies among young women. Emerging research has identified specific patient, provider, and systems factors precluding widespread LARC use, but no studies have comprehensively targeted barriers, applied updated health behavior frameworks, used modern intervention approaches, or addressed LARC beyond the clinical context.

Objective: The purpose of this study is to develop and test MiLARC—a theory-guided, web-based public health intervention designed to deliver accurate, targeted, and comprehensive LARC information in an engaging population-level platform. Our primary aim is to investigate the effectiveness of MiLARC in increasing acceptability and knowledge of LARC among university women. Our secondary aim is to explore the effect of MiLARC on intention to use LARC and LARC uptake.

Methods: Informed by findings from our broader ongoing project to investigate and address multi-level barriers to LARC, we will use a theory-guided approach to adapt an existing web-based contraceptive education intervention for targeted LARC content and an updated multimedia format. We will conduct a pilot two-armed randomized controlled trial of MiLARC among female undergraduate students at the University of Michigan. Online surveys will measure LARC acceptability, knowledge, intentions, and uptake at baseline, post-intervention, and three and six months. We will compare differences in outcomes between MiLARC intervention and control groups using bivariate statistics and multivariable regression.

Significance: Findings from this pilot study will inform a larger multi-campus study to test MiLARC on improving uptake of LARC among young women across the United States.

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