Barriers to adolescent contraception use and adherence

Camille Clare, Mary Beatrice Squire, Karem Alvarez, Julia Meisler, Candice Fraser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The United States has the highest rate of adolescent pregnancy of the industrialized nations. Previously reported patient barriers to the use of contraception included an ambivalence about pregnancy; method side effects; difficulty using methods; lack of satisfaction with methods; concerns about safety; expense; and a lack of knowledge about long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). This survey aims to determine if there are additional barriers to contraception use and adherence among an ethnically diverse urban population. A 16-item survey with good interrater reliability was utilized in a pilot study to assess patient demographics, and contraceptive methods was distributed to female patients aged 13-21 years at Metropolitan Hospital Center from January to October of 2014. Data analysis was performed using the χ2-square analysis, ?-coefficient, Contingency Coefficient, Cramer's V, and Satterthwaite methods of analyses. Concerns about contraceptive method side effects, more specifically, weight gain, irregular bleeding and long-term health risks, and worries about parents discovering their contraceptive habits were the major barriers to contraceptive use. The identification of these barriers is critical in order to reduce the high rates of pregnancy in adolescents. Educating parents and their teenagers regarding the most effective methods may increase compliance and adherence. This study offers further support for the use of LARC to overcome perceived patient barriers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20160098
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • adherence
  • adolescents
  • barriers
  • birth control
  • contraception
  • teens


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