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Changes in British men's use of family planning services between 1991 and 2000: secondary analysis of a national survey
  1. Stephen C Pearson, PhD, Senior Research Fellow1 and
  2. Paul Clarke, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Statistics2
  1. Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  2. Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Stephen C Pearson, Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, University of Leeds, 71–75 Clarendon Road, Leeds LS2 9PL, UK. E-mail: S.C.Pearson{at}leeds.ac.uk

Abstract

Background and methodology Although men are identified as a priority group for sexual health initiatives, limitations in other data sources mean little is known about their use of general practitioners (GPs) or family planning clinics (FPCs) for family planning services. This paper provides a unique profile of which men have increased their use of GPs or FPCs for family planning services over the 1990s. Data were taken from the repeated cross-sectional British Omnibus Survey, 1991–2000. In total, 16 470 men aged 16–49 years were asked which health service they had used for family planning purposes within the last 5 years.

Results Although around two-thirds of men cite general practice as their preferred source for professional advice on contraception, in 2000 only 12.5% (95% CI 11–14) had used this source for family planning purposes in the past 5 years. Between 1991 and 2000, the greatest growth was in use of FPCs, particularly among men aged 16–24 years, of single or cohabiting marital status, or of professional or unskilled social class. The greatest growth in use of GPs relative to use in 1991 was among men aged 35–44 years and those in the skilled non-manual and skilled manual social classes.

Discussion and conclusions As the 1990s progressed, an increasing percentage of men attended GPs and FPCs for family planning purposes. Differential rates of growth by age group, marital status and social class have occurred, but levels of use are still much lower than for women.

  • data analysis
  • family planning clinics
  • family planning service provision
  • general practice
  • men
  • Accepted August 22, 2006.

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