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Pediatrics. 2000 Apr;105(4 Pt 2):954-6.

The associations among pediatricians' knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding emergency contraception.

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University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital, Denver, Colorado 80218, USA.



To quantify practitioner administration of the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) among adolescent patients, and to determine if such administration is associated with physician knowledge and attitudes regarding efficacy, side effects, and appropriate use.


Survey of pediatricians.


The survey address list was generated from a database of active Fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics in the District of Columbia metropolitan area.


Prescription of the ECP in the previous 12 months, or counseling of an adolescent patient about the ECP.


Of the 236 questionnaires distributed, 143 (61%) were returned and 121 (51%) were usable. Twenty-four pediatricians (20%) reported prescribing the ECP, and 29 (24%) had counseled adolescent patients about the ECP. Of the practice-related variables surveyed, both the number of adolescents seen per week and the practice setting were significantly associated with these outcomes. Of the knowledge-related variables surveyed, knowledge of the timing and the Food and Drug Administration-labeled status of the ECP were significantly associated with outcomes. None of the attitude-related variables surveyed were associated with outcomes.


This study demonstrates that knowledge deficits, not attitude-related variables, are significantly associated with the low level of ECP administration and counseling among District of Columbia pediatricians. Because knowledge deficits are amenable to educational interventions, our data suggest that informing pediatricians about the ECP may increase its administration among their adolescent patients.emergency contraceptive pill, pediatricians, adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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