Advancing person-centered, equitable contraceptive care through the implementation of telemedicine
Awarded 2022
Contraceptive equity in telehealth
Courtney Kerestes, MD, MSCTR
The Ohio State University

Provision of contraceptive care through telemedicine offers safety advantages during a pandemic by limiting in person contact with the healthcare system. Telemedicine also has the potential to provide a convenient, private way for patients to receive evidence based contraceptive counseling based on the principles of shared decision making. If access to the internet and proper devices are available, telemedicine can overcome barriers like a lack of transportation or childcare, and scheduling constraints (work or familial obligations) that may interfere with their ability to access care in person. This project seeks to examine how the implementation of contraceptive care through telemedicine impacts the quality of and access to contraceptive care. Anticipating that some patients prefer telemedicine while others prefer traditional care, we will implement an option for contraception through telemedicine in addition to preexisting in-person contraception services. We propose an observational implementation study comparing patients who received in-clinic care prior to having the option of telemedicine to patients after implementation of telemedicine who chose either option. Our primary outcome of interest is person-centered contraception counseling. This outcome was specifically chosen to avoid placing pressure on providers or patients to choose any specific method. Rather, it reflects the quality of contraceptive care from the patient’s perspective. We also will compare demographic characteristics, presence of medical mistrust, and experience of discrimination in healthcare between the in-clinic and telemedicine groups. These associations can direct future efforts to expand telemedicine care. We anticipate that telemedicine care can provide person-centered healthcare beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.