Pharmacy World & Science

, 32:66 | Cite as

Information sources used by women in Finland who use hormonal contraceptives

  • Miia TiihonenEmail author
  • Anna-Mari Heikkinen
  • Hanna-Mari Leppänen
  • Riitta Ahonen
Research Article


Objective The aim of this study was to examine information sources used by women who use hormonal contraceptives (HCs), and how information source affected women’s attitudes and perceptions in 2001 and 2007. Setting The questionnaires were distributed from university pharmacies in 12 large cities across Finland. Method The data were collected with two questionnaire surveys among women who used hormonal contraceptives in 2001 and 2007. In the 2001 survey the response rate was 53% (n = 264) and in the 2007 survey 55% (n = 436). Results The number of respondents who considered professional information sources the most important information sources was markedly bigger in 2007 than in 2001 (P = 0.005). The most common source of information concerning the benefits of hormonal contraceptives was a physician (2001: 43%, 2007: 53%). The most common source of information concerning the risks of hormonal contraceptives was friends and relatives (43%) in 2001 and physician in 2007 (35%). Only a few percent of the respondents considered a pharmacy the most important information source both the 2001 and 2007 surveys. Conclusion The importance of health care professionals as sources of information concerning hormonal contraceptives has increased. However, role of pharmacists as information source was surprisingly small. Women who use hormonal contraceptives need more information from professional sources to alleviate possible fears associated with use.


Counselling Hormonal contraceptives Information sources Pharmacists 



We wish to thank Ms Paula Räsänen and Ms Seija Pirhonen for their help in our research.


University of Kuopio provided the funding.

Conflicts of interest

None declared.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miia Tiihonen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna-Mari Heikkinen
    • 2
  • Hanna-Mari Leppänen
    • 1
  • Riitta Ahonen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social PharmacyUniversity of KuopioKuopioFinland
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyUniversity of KuopioKuopioFinland

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