National Partnership for Women & Families

Journal Review

Study: Evidence-Based Medical Abortion Regimen 'Highly Effective,' Safe
A study of more than 13,000 women who received "an evidence-based alternative to the FDA-approved regimen" for medical abortion found the evidenced-based regimen to be "highly effective" and safe. According to the researchers, the study "supports the conclusion that legislative efforts to restrict medical abortion to the FDA regimen are based on political goals to restrict abortion services, not efficacy or patient safety."

Focus Groups Show Gaps in Family Planning Services Following Texas Policy Changes
Through focus groups with low-income women and adolescents in Texas, researchers explored the effects of changes to publicly funded family planning programs after the state Legislature cut the programs' budgets and excluded many providers. The study found that while participants had long faced barriers to accessing family planning services, the policy changes compounded these challenges and created new costs and access barriers. Participants and the study authors also offered several recommendations for improving the situation.

Large Study Links Mental Illness, Lower Contraceptive Adherence Among Female Veterans
A study examining contraceptive adherence and continuation among nearly 10,000 female veterans found that those with mental illness had higher odds of experiencing gaps of longer than 30 days between contraceptive refills. Veterans with both mental illness and substance use disorder were especially likely to experience long gaps and other disruptions, the researchers found. Reducing barriers to consistent contraceptive use, such as ensuring that long-acting reversible contraceptives are available, or providing the largest allowable supply of user-depended contraceptives to reduce the need for refills, could be beneficial to such women, they wrote.

Commentary Offers Suggestions To Improve Clinician Training on LARC Methods
In JAMA Pediatrics, experts in pediatric and adolescent medicine address barriers to clinician training in the provision of long-acting reversible contraceptives to adolescent patients. They offer several recommendations for improving LARC training among pediatric and adolescent medicine residents and fellows, including development of a standardized curriculum and expanded opportunities for trainees to obtain clinical experience with administering LARC methods to adolescent patients.

Study: Mobile Applications Can Enhance Contraceptive Counseling
Researchers developed a mobile application that offered comprehensive, medically accurate information on contraception and conducted a study examining how the application compared with in-person contraceptive counseling. The researchers found that the application did not adversely affect contraceptive uptake, and they suggested physicians use it "as an adjunct health education material" to supplement in-person consultations and save time.

Abortion History, Already Having Children Largest Predictors of Women's Post-Abortion Contraceptive Choice
Researchers compared selection of post-abortion contraceptives among women who had no previous abortions with women who had at least one abortion. They found that women with an abortion history were more likely to choose the most effective types of contraceptives but that already having children was the strongest predictor of women selecting the most effective tier of contraceptives.

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."