Birth control tales: Development and testing of theory based contraception educational comics for young adults
Awarded 2016
Small Research Grants
Aparna Sridhar, MD, MPH
University of California, Los Angeles

Young adults (age 18-29 years) have the highest rates of unintended pregnancy in the US. 40% of these unintended pregnancies ended in abortion. Prior studies have shown the need for new educational strategies to educate this population about contraceptive methods to prevent unintended pregnancies. Emerging research suggest comics can serve educational purposes. Comics can help young readers, or those of any age, by combining pictures and words, giving visual cues as to what the text is explaining. We developed three comics pertaining to birth control implant, birth control shot and combined hormonal contraceptives and conducted a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest study. To date we have results from analysis of the first 2 comics (implant and shot). The comics were successful in significantly improving the subjective knowledge of these methods in young women who had never used the method before. The knowledge about mechanism of action, effectiveness, placement, side effects and benefits of each method were significantly higher in participants after the reviewing the comic. Majority of the readers felt that reviewing the comic prior to method selection would be helpful. Majority of participants liked the color, images, overall look and layout of the comic. We will be completing the analysis of the third comic evaluations. The comics are available for dissemination in print form and as web page and mobile application.