Contraceptive counselling and social representations: a qualitative study
Background: Contraceptive use is a complex issue and several studies have been conducted in an effort to understand user behaviour. It is of interest to explore the representations of professionals who give advice on contraception, since their views could have an impact on contraceptive use.
Methods: Individual in-depth interviews of 65 healthcare professionals likely to provide contraceptive advice to patients at a Swiss maternity unit.
Results: 83% of healthcare professionals interviewed were favourable to contraception in general while being highly critical of its practical efficacy. The methods most often spontaneously cited were oral contraceptive pills, male condom, intrauterine devices and hormonal implants. Theoretically, all methods should be proposed during contraceptive counselling but in practice interviewees have different social representations of usergroups and associate them with specific contraceptive methods. Personal experience appears to play a bigger role than scientific knowledge.
Conclusions: The counsellor’s social representations probably play an important role in determining user behaviour. These representations should be taken into consideration in the training of healthcare professionals in this field.
- contraceptive counselling
- contraceptive methods
- social representations
Fabio Lorenzi-Cioldi, F. Bianchi-Demicheli, E. Perrin, A. Dupanloup, P. Dumont, J. Bonnet, M. Berthoud, R. Kulier, L. Bettoli, D. Chardonnens
Swiss Medical Weekly, Vol. 136, No. 0708, pp.127-134.
Birth control – contraception
Health – medicine
Medicine, Social psychology