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Perceived Contraceptive Counseling Quality Among Veterans Using VA Primary Care: Data from the ECUUN Study.
Callegari LS, Mahorter SS, Benson SK, Zhao X, Schwarz EB, Borrero S. Perceived Contraceptive Counseling Quality Among Veterans Using VA Primary Care: Data from the ECUUN Study. Journal of general internal medicine. 2022 Sep 1; 37(Suppl 3):698-705.
High-quality contraceptive counseling is critical to support Veterans' reproductive autonomy and promote healthy outcomes.
To describe perceived quality of contraceptive counseling in Veterans Health Administration (VA) primary care and assess factors associated with perceived high- and low-quality contraceptive counseling.
Cross-sectional study using data from the Examining Contraceptive Use and Unmet Need in women Veterans (ECUUN) national telephone survey.
Veterans aged 18-44 who received contraceptive services from a VA primary care clinic in the past year (N = 506).
Perceived quality of contraceptive counseling was captured by assessing Veterans' agreement with 6 statements regarding provider counseling adapted from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey. High-quality counseling was defined as a top score of strongly agreeing on all 6 items; low-quality counseling was defined as not agreeing (neutral, disagreeing, or strongly disagreeing) with > 3 items. We constructed two multivariable models to assess associations between patient-, provider-, and system-level factors and perceived high-quality (Model 1) and perceived low-quality counseling (Model 2).
Most participants strongly agreed that their providers listened carefully (74%), explained things clearly (77%), and spent enough time discussing things (71%). Lower proportions strongly agreed that their provider discussed more than one option (54%), discussed pros/cons of various methods (44%), or asked which choice they thought was best for them (62%). In Model 1, Veterans who received care in a Women's Health Clinic (WHC) had twice the odds of perceiving high-quality counseling (aOR = 1.99; 95%CI = 1.24-3.22). In Model 2, Veterans who received care in a WHC (aOR = 0.49; 95%CI = 0.25-0.97) or from clinicians who provide cervical cancer screening (aOR = 0.49; 95%CI = 0.26-0.95) had half the odds of perceiving low-quality counseling.
Opportunities exist to improve the quality of contraceptive counseling within VA primary care settings, including more consistent efforts to seek patients' perspectives with respect to contraceptive decisions.