Background Unintended pregnancy is a major public health problem in the United States.Correct contraceptive use can reduce the rate of unintended pregnancy. Community pharmacies are well positioned to provide contraceptives and advice about contraception.
Objectives To determine young women's perceptions and experiences with contraception supply in community pharmacies and to identify whether pharmacy characteristics predicted very positive experiences.
Design This study comprised two cross-sectional surveys including an online women's pharmacy perceptions and experiences (PPE) survey and a faxed/observed survey of community pharmacies.
Setting One county in Michigan
Participants Young women and community pharmacies
Main outcome measure The two surveys were merged to explore pharmacy characteristics that may impact women's perceptions and experiences with community pharmacies. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to explore relationships between pharmacy characteristics and positive outcomes.
Results The response rate for the PPE survey was 54% (n = 343/637). Data from all community pharmacies in the county was retrieved via fax (n = 41/94, 43.6%) or observation (n = 53/94, 56.4%). Women were included in this analysis if they indicated a regular pharmacy (one they go to most often) in the county of interest (n = 210). More than 50% of women (n = 125/210) visited a pharmacy more than once per month. Sixty percent of women were currently using something to prevent pregnancy (n = 124/210, 60.8%). Thirty-five percent of women had a positive experience (n = 73/210, 34.8%). In the multiple logistic regression, women who visited a chain pharmacy had almost 65% lower odds of an overall positive experience with their regular pharmacy compared with women who visited a grocery or mass merchandise pharmacy (odds ratio 0.35 [95% CI 0.16], P = 0.75).
Conclusion Young women visit community pharmacies and use contraceptives frequently. Interventions need to be developed and implemented to improve young women's perceptions and experiences with contraception at community pharmacies.