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

e cognizant of how their patients' characteristics may influence the care they provide."

In the study, one of 18 videos depicting patients with varying socioeconomic and racial characteristics was shown to 524 healthcare providers, who then were asked whether they would recommend an IUD to the patient. The study group was drawn from medical physicians, osteopathic physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who attended meetings of professional societies of family medicine and gynecology.

Previous research on the effect of patient race/ethnicity and class on clinicians' behaviors has focused on patient-provider interactions involving medical decisions about diseases, such as coronary artery disease, for which there is general consensus about appropriate treatments. Decisions about family planning, in contrast, involve multiple clinically appropriate options. The most effective choice may depend on a patient's personal preference, the team states.

"Providing contraceptive services is a particularly sensitive area of health care, both because of the intimate nature of the discussion of sexual behavior and because of the historical relationship of efforts to promote contraception with attempts to limit the fertility of minority and poor women in the United States," Dehlendorf said. "Family planning providers should work to ensure that they provide quality, patient-centered care to all women."

The inconsistency in health care provider recommendations for such an effective contraception method suggests a need for further research into the influence of clinicians' recommendations on family planning and ways to prevent the differences in care, she said.

The IUD, a small, plastic device that is inserted and left inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy, is more effective than most other forms of birth control, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

"This is an especially impo
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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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