Facilitated group contraceptive counseling for patients presenting to abortion care
Awarded 2021
Complex Family Planning Fellowship Research
Sarah Gutman, MD, MSPH
University of Pennsylvania Medical Center

Objectives: To evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of virtual group contraceptive counseling for patients presenting to abortion care.

Study design: Patients scheduled for induced abortion consultation and interested in initiating a contraceptive method at a University of Pennsylvania Family Planning clinic will be offered participation in virtual group contraceptive counseling. Groups of 2-10 participants will be scheduled for 45-minute virtual group visits prior to their clinic appointments. Virtual groups will be facilitated by complex family planning providers. Group discussions will be prioritized around participants’ knowledge and interests, with a review of contraceptive method use, effectiveness, and side effects.

Outcomes: The primary outcomes will be feasibility and acceptability. Feasibility will be measured by the proportion of approached eligible patients who choose to participate in and complete group counseling. Acceptability will be measured through satisfaction surveys completed by group participants and themes obtained from focus group participants. Patients declining participation will be asked their reason for declining. Secondary outcomes include Person-Centered Contraceptive Counseling (PCCC) scale scores at the time of the induced abortion appointment, the proportion of participants initiating a contraceptive method at the time of their abortion, and the distribution of methods.

Potential impact: If successful, virtual group contraceptive counseling offers interested patients the opportunity to focus on contraceptive options in advance of their abortion. We hypothesize that the additional time and social support inherent to this novel counseling method will benefit women in their contraceptive decision-making. Additionally, group visits may reduce patient and provider time burden and improve clinic flow.