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Perceived Contraceptive Counseling Quality Among Veterans Using VA Primary Care: Data from the ECUUN Study.

Callegari LS, Mahorter SS, Benson SK, Zhao X, Schwarz EB, Borrero S. Perceived Contraceptive Counseling Quality Among Veterans Using VA Primary Care: Data from the ECUUN Study. Journal of general internal medicine. 2022 Sep 1; 37(Suppl 3):698-705.

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BACKGROUND: High-quality contraceptive counseling is critical to support Veterans' reproductive autonomy and promote healthy outcomes. OBJECTIVE: To describe perceived quality of contraceptive counseling in Veterans Health Administration (VA) primary care and assess factors associated with perceived high- and low-quality contraceptive counseling. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study using data from the Examining Contraceptive Use and Unmet Need in women Veterans (ECUUN) national telephone survey. PARTICIPANTS: Veterans aged 18-44 who received contraceptive services from a VA primary care clinic in the past year (N = 506). MAIN MEASURES: Perceived quality of contraceptive counseling was captured by assessing Veterans' agreement with 6 statements regarding provider counseling adapted from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey. High-quality counseling was defined as a top score of strongly agreeing on all 6 items; low-quality counseling was defined as not agreeing (neutral, disagreeing, or strongly disagreeing) with > 3 items. We constructed two multivariable models to assess associations between patient-, provider-, and system-level factors and perceived high-quality (Model 1) and perceived low-quality counseling (Model 2). KEY RESULTS: Most participants strongly agreed that their providers listened carefully (74%), explained things clearly (77%), and spent enough time discussing things (71%). Lower proportions strongly agreed that their provider discussed more than one option (54%), discussed pros/cons of various methods (44%), or asked which choice they thought was best for them (62%). In Model 1, Veterans who received care in a Women's Health Clinic (WHC) had twice the odds of perceiving high-quality counseling (aOR = 1.99; 95%CI = 1.24-3.22). In Model 2, Veterans who received care in a WHC (aOR = 0.49; 95%CI = 0.25-0.97) or from clinicians who provide cervical cancer screening (aOR = 0.49; 95%CI = 0.26-0.95) had half the odds of perceiving low-quality counseling. CONCLUSIONS: Opportunities exist to improve the quality of contraceptive counseling within VA primary care settings, including more consistent efforts to seek patients' perspectives with respect to contraceptive decisions.

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