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Contraception. 2009 Mar;79(3):199-205. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2008.09.004. Epub 2008 Nov 12.

Comprehension of a prototype emergency contraception package label by female adolescents.

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Family Health International, PO Box 13950, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.



We evaluated female adolescents' comprehension of a prototype over-the-counter package label for an emergency contraceptive pill product.


Volunteers aged 12-17 years who could read English were recruited at malls and clinics in six United States metropolitan areas. After completing a literacy assessment, subjects examined the prototype package and answered 20 questions that assessed understanding of six key concepts related to appropriate use of the product.


The analysis population included 335 subjects, 54 to 59 of each year of age between 12 and 17 years. When asked what the product is used for, 264 respondents (79%) specifically indicated contraception. The six key concepts were each understood by 83-96% of subjects. In all 24 population subgroups examined, each key concept was understood by at least 72% of subjects.


Female adolescents aged 17 years and younger understand the prototype package label well enough to enable safe and effective use without assistance from a clinician.

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