Columbia University Study Examines Method to Improve the Correct Usage of Oral Contraceptives

Research has shown that one half of people who take medications do so improperly. It is estimated that in the United States each year there are 1 million unintended pregnancies because women erred in taking their oral contraceptives.

A new study led by Dr. Paula Castano, an assistant clinical professor in obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University, finds that a daily text message to women can improve their performance in taking their oral contraceptives correctly. Researchers recruited 962 women at a Planned Parenthood health center. The women ranged in age from 13 to 25. Half the group received routine text messages reminding them to take their pill. The control group did not receive text message reminders.

Follow-up interviews six months later found that 64 percent of the women who received text message reminders were using their contraceptives correctly. But only 54 percent of the control was doing so.

The research, which was published in the January 2012 issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, can be accessed here.

Dr. Castano is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Minnesota Medical School. She also holds a master of public health degree from Columbia University.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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