Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS 12) for prevention of pregnancy for up to five years.
- Anita L Nelson
- Expert review of clinical pharmacology
STUDY OBJECTIVE Long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods are the most effective forms of reversible contraception but adolescents often opt for other, less effective methods. In this study we explored how adolescents viewed LARC as an innovation to be adopted or rejected, and how their assessment of innovation attributes affected their decisions about LARC. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, INTERVENTIONS, AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Sexually active adolescents between 15 and 22 years old (n = 22) participated in semistructured qualitative interviews. The data underwent a content analysis informed by constructs of the diffusion of innovations and emergent interview themes. RESULTS Data analysis indicated 3 subgroups of participants on the basis of their inclination to use LARC and the mutability of that position: positive/persuaded (n = 7), negative/low knowledge (n = 10), and negative/adamant (n = 5). Participants' perceptions of the relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability of LARC cohered around subgroup membership. Perceived complexity entailed in obtaining LARC and fears about LARC were observed across all participants. All participants believed that one has to try LARC to know how it will work for her, personally. This led the positive/persuaded group to be undeterred by others' negative experiences with LARC and the negative/low knowledge and negative/adamant groups to decide LARC was too risky to try. CONCLUSION Adolescents engage in nuanced evaluations of LARC, weighing competing information about LARC while receiving anecdotal and empirical information about LARC from various valid sources. To reduce the uncertainty about LARC that prohibits trying these methods, adolescents require straightforward information about LARC that directly addresses the advantages of LARC over other methods coupled with candid acknowledgement of the potential disadvantages of LARC.