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A survey of GP views on intra-uterine contraception
  1. Sunanda Gupta, MRCOG, MFFP, Consultant in Community Gynaecology1 and
  2. John E Miller, DRCOG, MRCGP, MFFP, Principal in General Practice2
  1. Forest Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  2. Bridge House Surgery, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, UK

Abstract

Aims To investigate knowledge and attitudes towards intra-uterine contraception.

Design Anonymous postal survey of 441 GPs (153 female and 288 male GPs) from the FHSA register in Stockport and Manchester.

Setting General practices in Stockport and Manchester.

Main outcome measure Response to a series of questions concerning attitudes and knowledge of intra-uterine contraception.

Results One hundred and forty-two responses were received, giving a 35% response rate. Thirty-four percent of responding GPs did not fit intra-uterine devices (IUDs), with only 10% fitting more than 30 a year. There was a significant trend against IUD fitting by male GPs and GPs aged <40 years. Younger GPs with <10 years experience were significantly more aware of the reliability of intra-uterine contraception, but perceived IUD fitting as inconvenient for both the patient and the doctor. Female GPs had better knowledge and more positive attitudes to IUDs than male GPs.

Conclusion GPs may have difficulties in maintaining expertise. Primary care groups may opt to concentrate fittings in a few expert practices, or refer women to centrally based family planning clinics for IUD fitting.

  • attitudes
  • intra-uterine contraception
  • knowledge
  • Accepted June 1, 1999.

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