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Provider self-disclosure during contraceptive counseling

Provider self-disclosure (PSD) – defined as providers making statements regarding personal information to patients – has not been well characterized in the context of contraceptive counseling. In this study, we describe the incidence, content and context of contraceptive PSD. This mixed methods analysis used data from the Provider-Patient Contraceptive Counseling study, for which 349 family planning patients were recruited from 2009 to 2012 from six clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area. Audio-recordings from their visits were analyzed for the presence or absence of PSD, and those visits with evidence of PSD were analyzed using qualitative methods. The associations of patient and provider demographics and patient satisfaction measures, obtained from survey data, with PSD were analyzed using bivariable and multivariable analyses. Thirty-seven percent of providers showed evidence of PSD during at least one visit, and PSD occurred in 9% of clinic visits. Fifty-four percent of PSD statements were about intrauterine devices. About half of PSD statements occurred prior to the final selection of the contraceptive method and appeared to influence the choice of method. In post-visit surveys, all patients who reported receiving PSD considered it to be appropriate, and patient-reported PSD was not statistically associated with measures of patient satisfaction. This study provides some support for the appropriateness of PSD during family planning encounters, at least as practiced during the sampled visits. Further research could explore whether this counseling strategy has an impact on patients’ ability to identify the best contraceptive methods for them. In this study, PSD did not have a demonstrated negative effect on the provider-patient relationship. In almost half of visits, PSD appeared to influence patients’ choice of a method; whether this influence is beneficial needs further research.

Authors: McLean M; Steinauer J; Schmittdiel J; Chan P; Dehlendorf C

Contraception. 2017 Feb;95(2):161-166. Epub 2016-09-15.

PubMed abstract

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