National Partnership for Women & Families

Journal Review

Investigation Explores Role of Patients' Social Influences in Contraceptive Counseling
In an analysis of contraceptive counseling conversations between patients and providers, researchers found that patients were much more likely than providers to initiate discussions on influences from the media, friends or other aspects of their social networks. The study also found that provider engagement during such discussions was generally limited, suggesting that "providers may not recognize the relevance" of social influences for patients and presenting "missed opportunities for patient education."

'Tremendous' Women's Health Gains 'In Danger' From ACA Opponents, Commentary Says
In a commentary, Guttmacher Institute President and CEO Ann Starrs details several of the improvements in women's health that have resulted because of the Affordable Care Act. She discusses the importance of protecting and strengthening such gains amid court challenges and proposed legislation designed to undermine the law.

Study: Increased LARC Use Linked to Fewer Abortions
Researchers examined associations between increased use of long-acting reversible contraception in Iowa and the state's declining abortion rate between 2005 and 2012. They noted that expanded access to both abortion and contraception in the state at the time created an "ideal" context in which to study the potential link. Their findings suggest that an increase of "1 LARC user per 100 women in a given region was associated with a 4% reduction in the odds of abortion for women living in that region."

Vaginal, Sublingual Misoprostol Dosing Faster Than Oral for Second-Trimester Medication Abortion, Trial Suggests
A randomly controlled trial at an Australian hospital found that administering misoprostol vaginally or sublingually generally worked about two hours faster than oral dosing to complete a second-trimester abortion. Women who took the drug orally also required a significantly greater total dosage than women in the other two groups to complete an abortion, although women in all three groups reported similar levels of satisfaction with the procedure.

Increased Use of Preterm Birth Prevention Methods Could Decrease U.S. Preterm Birth Rate
In a clinical opinion, researchers assess the U.S. preterm birth rate, which despite falling to 11.4% in 2013, the lowest level since 1997, remains one of the highest PTB rates in the world. The researchers examine factors contributing to this decline, such as changes in medical guidelines on assisted reproductive technology and antismoking policies, to determine how to further improve the U.S. PTB rate.

Study Examines Trends in Sexual Behavior Among Age Cohorts
For this study, researchers assessed sexual behaviors of multiple age cohorts to inform research and public health policy on sexually transmitted infections. They found that sexual behavior has changed in later generations; for example, age at sexual initiation decreased and the proportion of female respondents reporting ever having a same-sex partner increased. The researchers said their findings can inform public health initiatives and reinforce the need for sex education.

Conceptual Model Explains Best Practices for Abortion Referral-Making
As access to abortion services continues to decrease in much of the U.S., it is increasingly critical that health and social services providers can provide women with "assistance [in] locating and accessing abortion care," Provide's Melanie Zurek and colleagues write. They describe a conceptual model developed by Provide to assist providers in improving their referral-making practices and effectively fulfilling "their role in ensuring access to care."