Examining Temporal Trends in Documentation of Pregnancy Intentions in Family Planning Health Centers Using Electronic Health Records
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Objectives Few studies have examined the extent to which providers assess pregnancy intentions during clinical encounters. Our objective was to assess temporal trends in documentation of patient pregnancy intentions in electronic health records (EHR). Methods In this retrospective observational study using EHR data from 627,399 female patients visiting 214 family planning centers in 2012–2014, we assessed changes in the prevalence of pregnancy intention documentation with piecewise log-binomial regression models. We examined bivariate associations between patient/visit characteristics and pregnancy intention documentation in each year, and associations between patients’ pregnancy intentions and contraceptive methods. Results The proportion of patients with a documented pregnancy intention increased sharply from the end of 2012 (42%) to the midpoint of 2013 (85%; adjusted quarterly prevalence ratio [APR] = 1.40, 95% CI 1.36–1.45). Thereafter, the rate of change slowed as documentation approached the maximum possible frequency (93%; APR = 1.01, 95% CI 1.00–1.02). Documentation varied by all patient/visit characteristics in 2012 and 2013; in 2014, there were no clinically significant differences. Among patients with a documented intention, 97% were not planning a pregnancy in the next year. Women not planning a pregnancy were more likely to use a most/moderately effective contraceptive method than those planning a pregnancy (73 vs. 35%, p < 0.0001). Conclusions for Practice Improvements in pregnancy intention documentation co-occurred with changes to EHR templates (e.g., placement of structured data fields) and with provider-focused initiatives promoting reproductive life planning. Patients’ pregnancy intentions aligned with contraceptive use; however, these findings cannot address whether assessment of intentions affects contraceptive use.
KeywordsPregnancy intentions Reproductive life plan Family planning Title X Electronic health records
The authors would like to thank Amandi Clarke and Stephanie Küng for their assistance with the literature review; Kellan Smith and Erin Barringer-Sterner for their assistance in identifying EHR data fields and extracting the data and Susanne Mauney for additional consultation; and Zoe Unger and Monika Grzeniewski for their review of the manuscript.
The research received no external funding.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest to disclose.
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