Mobile application for information on reversible contraception: A randomized controlled trial
Awarded 2012
Complex Family Planning Fellowship Research
Aparna Sridhar, MD
University of California, Los Angeles

Due to time constraints that limit physician’s ability to deliver detailed contraception counseling, patients increasingly require supplemental education opportunities. Applications for smartphones and tablets are being designed to educate patients about contraceptive methods and simplify communication between patient and provider. We designed a mobile application entitled Plan A Birth Control to provide targeted information about the 10 most common, nonpermanent contraceptive methods with emphasis on long-acting reversible methods. We developed a mobile application designed to provide tailored information about the 10 most common nonpermanent contraceptive methods. After pilot testing with 40 volunteers from the clinic, 120 participants were recruited for a randomized controlled trial. Participants were assigned by simple randomization to contraception counseling via tablet or health educator. We compared participants’ contraceptive choice between the 2 groups. Secondary outcomes included knowledge of the method of choice and satisfaction with counseling. Of the 120 participants in the primary study, 65 chose long-acting reversible methods. The uptake of long-acting reversible contraceptives was similar between the groups (34 received health educator counseling and 31 received mobile application counseling). Both groups were demographically similar in age and educational status. Knowledge of long-acting methods did not differ significantly between the groups (P = .30). Results from our study suggest that Plan A Birth Control did not adversely affect highly effective birth control uptake in our study population. This can save time for physicians and health educators if used as an adjunct to contraception counseling in waiting room settings.