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J Adolesc Health. 2011 Oct;49(4):357-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.01.008. Epub 2011 May 25.

Transdermal contraception as a model for adolescent use of new methods.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.



To examine the factors related to adolescents' decisions to use the transdermal contraceptive patch (patch) so as to develop a model for understanding how adolescents decide to use new contraceptive methods.


We conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews with 18 young women aged 15-21 years who had experience using the patch. Data were analyzed using a two-stage method informed by grounded theory.


We constructed a two-level model, encompassing individual, social, and environmental factors, to explain adolescents' decisions to use a new method of hormonal contraception. Social and environmental influences on the decision-making process included media, social network experiences and opinions, healthcare providers, and partner relationships. These in turn affected the following individual factors in the decision to use the patch: individual characteristics, method knowledge and beliefs, method support, and past contraceptive experience. The newness of the patch permeated all levels of the decision-making process.


This model provides a framework for understanding the use of new contraceptive methods and can inform clinical strategies for contraceptive counseling with adolescents.

Copyright © 2011 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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