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Australian women's attitudes towards and understandings of the subdermal contraceptive implant: a qualitative study of never-users
  1. Kumiyo Inoue1,2,
  2. Marguerite Kelly3,4,
  3. Alexandra Barratt5,
  4. Deborah Bateson6,7,
  5. Alison Rutherford8,
  6. Kirsten I Black9,
  7. Mary Stewart10,
  8. Juliet Richters11
  1. 1PhD Scholar, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  2. 2Adjunct Senior Researcher, School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
  3. 3Project Officer, Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia
  4. 4Project Officer, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  5. 5Professor, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  6. 6Medical Director, Family Planning New South Wales, Ashfield, Australia
  7. 7Clinical Associate Professor, Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  8. 8Senior Lecturer (Conjoint), University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  9. 9Associate Professor (Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology), Central Clinical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  10. 10Senior Medical Officer: Research and Education, Family Planning New South Wales, Ashfield, Australia
  11. 11Professor, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kumiyo Inoue, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia; k.inoue{at}student.unsw.edu.au

Abstract

Objective Few studies have explored Australian women's understandings of contraception. This study examined the attitudes towards, and understandings of, the subdermal contraceptive implant expressed by women living in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

Study design As part of a larger qualitative study using in-depth, open-ended interviews in 2012–2013 with women aged 16–49 years who had ever used contraception (n=94), 65 interviews from women who discussed or mentioned the subdermal implant, but had not previously used the device, were examined and analysed using thematic analysis.

Results The emergent themes were: satisfaction with current method; weak personal opinions and ambivalence; uncertainty due to specific concerns; and strong negative reactions – fear and dislike. Although there were a few positive perceptions expressed by women who had never used the subdermal implant, for the majority of women the perception was predominantly negative.

Discussion and conclusion Women tended to form negative impressions from the stories of other women about the subdermal implant. Interventions to enhance evidence-informed awareness of the relative advantages and disadvantages of the implant – for example, improved access to supportive contraceptive counselling – need investigation in the Australian context. Avenues to improve women's perceived control over the device could also be usefully investigated.

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