PREFER: Can the preference for and use of LARCs in young Australian women be increased using an online “LARC first” structured patient educational video?
Unintended pregnancies have long been identified as a significant public health problem both in Australia and in other countries. Evidence shows that increased use of Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs), such as intrauterine devices and hormonal implants, has the potential to reduce unintended pregnancy and abortion rates, and are a safer, more effective and more cost-effective method of contraception than short acting contraception. Despite this evidence, the uptake of LARCs amongst Australian women is low. In 2013, Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia (SHFPA) released a national position statement, endorsed by the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), which put forward a framework for action to increase the use of LARCs in Australia. This framework included recommendations that health service providers discuss the benefits of LARCs with all women requiring contraception, and that local referral pathways be developed for women of all ages to improve access to LARCs. The NH&MRC funded Australian Contraceptive CHOICE study (ACCORd) seeks to put these recommendations into practice by training General Practitioners to provide ‘LARC First’ structured contraceptive counselling and implementing rapid referral pathways. Building on the work of the ACCORd project and leveraging off it, this project will determine whether young Australian women’s preference for and uptake of LARCs can be increased using an online ‘LARC First’ patent educational video, a resource developed for the ACCORd project. We hypothesise that young women who watch a ‘LARC First’ patient educational video are more likely to prefer and use LARCs. If successful, our proposed intervention could provide a simple method of support to assist General Practitioners in increasing the uptake of LARCs amongst young Australian women, and thereby reduce the number of unintended pregnancies.