Evaluating the Whoops Proof S.C. Campaign: A Pair-Matched Group Pretest–Posttest Quasi-experimental Study

  • Beth SundstromEmail author
  • Deborah Billings
  • Ellie Smith
  • Merissa Ferrara
  • Bill Albert
  • Katherine Suellentrop


Introduction: In South Carolina, 50% of all pregnancies are unintended. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) and the implant are recommended as top-tier contraceptive options for all women and adolescents. The Whoops Proof S.C. campaign was evaluated to determine if women (ages 18 to 29) who do not intend to become pregnant in the next year report greater awareness of and positive regard for IUDs and the implant after exposure to a multi-channel campaign. Methods: A pair-matched group pretest–posttest quasi-experimental design was utilized. A total of 1,439 women responded to the pretest survey (May–July 2016) and 1,534 responded to the posttest survey (October–November 2016) in four South Carolina counties. Statistical analysis include paired-sample and independent t-tests and one-way ANOVA tests for variance. Results: At posttest, intervention county participants were significantly more likely to recall messaging and to report receiving contraceptive information from Whoops Proof S.C (t(1533)= − 8.466, p < .0001). Participants who saw ads more than once per week reported a significant increase in awareness of IUDs and the implant (F(6,1532) = 5.571; p < .001). Participants in intervention counties reported a significant increase in positive attitudes toward IUDs (t(616) = − 1.740; p = .041) and the implant (t(603)= − 1.665; p = .048). Discussion: The Whoops Proof S.C. campaign offers strategies to campaign planners and health care providers to optimize exposure and recall frequency to increase awareness of and positive regard for highly effective contraceptive methods. Campaign planners should test messages and focus on communication channels to increase engagement and avoid saturation.


Quasi-experimental design Long-acting reversible contraception Birth control Communication 



The authors would like to recognize the New Morning Foundation (through the Choose Well Initiative) for financially supporting this research. We would also like to acknowledge Power to Decide, the campaign to prevent unplanned pregnancy (previously the National Campaign for Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy) and Riggs Partners, including Courtney Fleming, Kevin Smith, and Will Weatherly for their significant contributions to this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beth Sundstrom
    • 1
    Email author
  • Deborah Billings
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ellie Smith
    • 1
  • Merissa Ferrara
    • 1
  • Bill Albert
    • 4
  • Katherine Suellentrop
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of CommunicationCollege of CharlestonCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  4. 4.Power to Decide, The Campaign to Prevent Unplanned PregnancyWashingtonUSA

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