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Birth control tales: development and testing of theory-based contraception educational comics for young adults

Aparna Sridhar, University of California, Los Angeles

Project abstract

Young adults (age 18-29 years) have the highest rates of unintended pregnancy in the United States. In 2011, the overall unintended pregnancy rates in the United States declined to 45%. However, unintended pregnancy among young adults 18-29 years of age was still high at 52%. 40% of these unintended pregnancies ended in abortion. Prior studies have shown the need for new educational strategies to educate this population about contraceptive methods to prevent unintended pregnancies. Emerging research suggest comics can serve educational purposes. Comics can help young readers, or those of any age, by combining pictures and words, giving visual cues as to what the text is explaining. With this grant we propose development and testing of theory based contraception comics for young adults. We hypothesize that educational comics for contraception will improve perceived knowledge about birth control method use. We will develop three comics in collaboration with a cartoonist and conduct a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest study to understand its effect on subjective knowledge of contraceptive methods. We will disseminate comics through websites, mobile applications. If successful, this study will provide preliminary empirical support for the efficacy of comics for contraception education. With this grant funding, we are hoping to create and disseminate a sustainable health educational tool which will be available free of cost to the young women and health care providers in the United States and other parts of the world!

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