Variation in Contraceptive Prescribing Patterns by Physician, Practice, and Clinical Encounter Characteristics

Laura Attanasio, University of Minnesota
Shailendra Prasad, University of Minnesota

While most contraceptive methods in the U.S. necessitate contact with a healthcare provider to initiate or continue, little is known about how characteristics of the physician’s practice and the clinical encounter contribute to contraceptive method decisions. This study aimed to characterize the variation in contraceptive prescribing practices by physician specialty, practice, and visit characteristics in a national sample. Using data from the 2006-2010 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), we used logistic regression and multinomial logit models to examine predictors of any method being prescribed and contraceptive type. Our findings indicate that likelihood of a contraceptive being prescribed and the type of contraception prescribed are associated with at least some characteristics at the level of the physician, practice and clinical encounter while controlling for patient-level factors. Notably, however, patient race/ethnicity and expected source of payment for the visit were consistently associated with method type.

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Presented in Poster Session 7: Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, and Reproductive Health