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Fam Med. 2008 Jan;40(1):40-5.

Physicians' intention to educate about emergency contraception.

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  • 1School of Nursing, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2220 Holmes Street, Kansas City, MO 66103, USA.



Our objective was to examine the intention of academic primary care physicians to educate women about emergency contraception (EC) and whether differences in their intention varies with patient situation, knowledge and attitudes about EC, gender, or specialty.


As part of a larger cross-sectional survey about intention to prescribe EC with 96 faculty physicians from one Southern and three Midwestern universities, we analyzed factors associated with intention to educate patients about EC. Physicians were from departments of family medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, and pediatrics.


The main outcome variable was intention to educate about EC. Attitudes and perceived peer expectations on educating about EC predicted physicians' intentions to provide EC education to their patients. Neither knowledge about EC nor physician demographics predicted intention to educate. Almost one in five respondents were reluctant to provide education to sexually active adolescents. Physicians who had high intention to educate were more likely than others to believe that educating about EC enhances a woman's reproductive options and that EC education reduces unintended pregnancy and abortion. Providers with low intention to educate were more likely to consider EC education to be inconvenient and to take too much clinic time.


To maximize training programs, physicians' attitudes, beliefs, and professional expectations should be examined when designing and initiating educational interventions.

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