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Women's race and class impact contraception recommendations, UCSF study shows
Date:10/8/2010

A woman's race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status impact whether health care providers recommend one of the most highly effective forms of contraception, a UCSF study confirms. The results also indicate that the interaction of both factors plays a role in clinicians' decisions.

Recommendations by health care providers previously have been found to vary by patients' race and socioeconomic status, contributing to health disparities, according to the researchers. The team investigated the effect of these factors on recommendations for contraception.

Study results appear in the October print edition of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and are available online at http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(10)00578-8/fulltext. An editorial commenting on the study also is included in the Journal.

In the study, clinicians' recommendations for intrauterine devices (IUDs), considered among the most effective forms of contraception, were affected by both the patient's class and her race/ethnicity.

  • Clinicians were less likely to recommend IUDs to white women of low socioeconomic status than to white women of high socioeconomic status.
  • Socioeconomic status had no significant effect on recommendations for IUDs for Latinas and black women.
  • But when the researchers evaluated the groups by race/ethnicity, clinicians were more likely to recommend IUDs to Latinas and black women of low socioeconomic status than to white women of low socioeconomic status.

"Understandably, people want simple answers but the complexity of the results is not surprising. We live in a complex world where race and class are intertwined, " said Christine Dehlendorf, MD, MAS, assistant professor in the UCSF Department of Family and Community Medicine and the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences. "Clinicians need to b
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Contact: Karin Rush-Monroe
karin.rush-monroe@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California -- San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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