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CDC Outlines Best Practices in Family Planning Care, Education

CDC Outlines Best Practices in Family Planning Care, Education

May 19, 2014 — CDC recently issued in-depth guidelines for clinicians and health educators to use when addressing family planning services with the public, MedPage Today's "The Gupta Guide" reports.

The recommendations are designed for primary care providers, reproductive health educators and women's health specialists and address services for both adolescents and adults.

"Women of reproductive age often report that their family planning provider is also their usual source of healthcare," Loretta Gavin, of CDC's Division of Reproductive Health, and colleagues wrote in the report.

Details of Guidelines

The recommendations include providing contraception to prevent and space pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion; offering pregnancy testing and counseling; assisting clients who are trying to conceive with counseling and basic infertility services; providing preconception counseling for both men and women, which is tied to improved maternal-fetal outcomes; and screening for and treating sexually transmitted infections.

Gavin and colleagues also suggested that providers and educators develop "a core set of family planning values," including following the Institute of Medicine's recommendations for preventive services for women, according to "The Gupta Guide." The new guidelines include a list of terms and definitions, such "client-centered" care, that should be taken into account when developing the core values.

CDC also outlined a five-step approach that health care professionals can use to create a clinical or educational protocol regarding family planning. The steps range from establishing a rapport with the client to selecting a contraceptive method and creating a plan for consistent use.

In addition to family planning, CDC also recommended that health care providers offer related preventive health services, such as breast and cervical cancer screenings (Wickline, "The Gupta Guide," MedPage Today, 5/15).