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Video counseling could be a valuable tool – in addition to customary prenatal care – in increasing the use of postpartum long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), which is shown to be effective in improving intervals between pregnancies.

Dr. Allison Staley

Allison Staley, MD, MPH, a fellow in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at UNC OB-GYN, is lead author of “Prenatal Contraceptive Counseling by Video,” which was published in the November 2018 issue of the Southern Medical Journal. Jessica E. Morse, MD, MPH, assistant professor in the Division of Family Planning, is a co-author of the article.

In a randomized controlled trial, some women receiving prenatal care in UNC’s resident clinic received LARC FIRST video contraceptive counseling along with their routine prenatal care. The control group received routine prenatal care alone. The primary outcome of the study was to measure LARC uptake by 12-weeks postpartum.

Though LARC use at 12-weeks postpartum did increase, it was not by a high-enough margin to suggest the increase was a result of video counseling.

However, patients viewing the video reported high levels of acceptability and improved contraceptive knowledge, showing it may be a useful adjunct in many clinical settings, says Staley.

“The benefits of postpartum contraception are well known, including increasing interpregnancy intervals, improved subsequent neonatal benefits and empowering new mothers with highly effective family planning options. Multimedia platforms are a robust option for teaching and patient education in the clinical setting, yet there is minimal published data available to demonstrate effectiveness,” says Staley. “Our goal with this project was to integrate such tools into the routine prenatal visit, utilizing videos created from the Contraceptive CHOICE Project.  We found that patients reported consistently high levels of satisfaction with video counseling as well as objectively higher contraception knowledge scores.  Evidence such as this shows that these new tools could be successful adjuncts to the routine prenatal care visit.”