The adoption of the Emergency Contraceptive Pill in Sweden
M Larssona*, K Eureniusa, R Westerlingb, T Tydéna,b
aDepartment of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
bDepartment of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
Margareta Larsson, RNM, PhD (in May)
Aim To examine the adoption of the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) in Sweden before and after the deregulation in 2001 and to evaluate a community-based intervention including a mass media campaign and information to women visiting family planning clinics in one of two cities in mid-Sweden.
Method Waiting room questionnaires were administered to abortion applicants in the two cities during 2000(N=361), 2002(N=187) after deregulation of ECP and 2003 (N=448) after the intervention. The main outcome measures were; knowledge, attitudes and practices of ECP and exposure to the intervention.
Results The overall response rate was 88%. General awareness about ECP had increased from 83% to 92%, and the proportion of women who had ever used ECP increased from 22% to 35% over time. Almost two-thirds (63%) of the targeted women had noticed the information campaign and one out of three (33%) who had visited a family planning clinic during the intervention year recalled being given information about ECP. Media and friends were the most cited sources of information on all occasions. The belief that ECP could have a negative influence on regular contraceptive use decreased over time from 36% to 25%. The majority of women (58%) would have used ECP if it had been available at home. Women’s knowledge of how to access ECP had improved after the intervention and the percentage of women who had an abortion within the previous year had decreased.
Conclusion ECP is gradually becoming a more widely known, accepted and used contraceptive method in Sweden .