Dr. Meredith Manze, professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and colleagues published on the perceived role of clinicians in pregnancy prevention among young Black women. The work was published in Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare.
[Photo: Dr. Meredith Manze]
The purpose of this study was to identify young Black women’s attitudes toward clinicians and understand how those attitudes affect contraceptive behavior. The researchers conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with women aged 18-23 who self-identified as Black or African-American.
Participants discussed two concepts related to pregnancy prevention: (1) sexual responsibility and self-efficacy and (2) the perceived limited role of health care clinicians. Women portrayed themselves as in control of their contraceptive decision-making and practices. Many viewed their life plan, to finish school and gain financial stability, as crucial to their resolve to use contraception. Participants gathered information from various sources to make their own independent decision(s) about which method, if any, was most appropriate for their needs. Most had limited expectations of clinicians and considered in-depth conversations about details of contraceptive use to be irrelevant and unnecessary.
The findings help understand factors contributing to contraceptive decision-making. The patient-clinician interaction is a necessary focus of future research to improve sexual health discussions and understand if and what aspects of this interaction can influence behavior.