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Womens Health Issues ; 2022 May 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1946828


BACKGROUND: Telehealth use rapidly increased during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, including for contraceptive care (e.g., counseling, method provision, removal of devices). This study explored providers' experiences with contraceptive care via telehealth. METHODS: We conducted a survey with open-ended responses among contraceptive providers across the United States. The study population included physicians, nurse practitioners, health educators, and other health professionals (n = 546). Data were collected from April 10, 2020, to January 29, 2021. We conducted qualitative content analysis of the open-ended responses. RESULTS: Providers highlighted the benefits of telehealth, including continuing access to contraceptive services and accommodating patients who faced challenges attending in-person contraceptive visits. Providers at school-based health centers reported telehealth allowed them to reach young people while schools were closed. However, many providers noted a lack of patient awareness about the availability of telehealth services and disparities in access to technology. Providers felt there was less personal connection in virtual contraceptive counseling, noted challenges with confidentiality, and expressed concern about the inability to provide the full range of contraceptive methods through telehealth alone. CONCLUSIONS: The pandemic significantly impacted contraceptive health care delivery. Telehealth has sustained access to contraception in important ways, but has been accompanied by various challenges, including technological access and confidentiality. As hybrid models of care evolve, it is important to assess how telehealth can play a role in providing contraceptive care while addressing its barriers.

J Gen Intern Med ; 2022 Jun 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1877941


BACKGROUND: Telemedicine expanded rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic, including for contraceptive services. Data are needed to understand whether young people can access telemedicine for contraception, especially in underserved populations. OBJECTIVE: To compare young people's perceived access to telemedicine visits for contraception during the COVID-19 pandemic by food and housing insecurity. DESIGN: Supplementary study to a cluster randomized controlled trial in 25 community colleges in California and Texas. Online surveys were administered May 2020 to April 2021. Mixed-effects logistic regression models with random effects for site were used to examine differences in access to contraception through telemedicine by food and housing insecurity status, controlling for key sociodemographic characteristics, including race/ethnicity, non-English primary language, health insurance status, and state of residence, and contraceptive method used. PARTICIPANTS: 1,414 individuals assigned female at birth aged 18-28. MAIN MEASURES: Survey measures were used to capture how difficult it would be for a participant to have a telemedicine visit (phone or video) for contraception. KEY RESULTS: Twenty-nine percent of participants were food insecure, and 15% were housing insecure. Nearly a quarter (24%) stated that it would be difficult to have a phone or video visit for contraception. After accounting for sociodemographic factors and type of method used, food insecure (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.17; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.62-2.91) and housing insecure (aOR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.13-2.33) participants were significantly more likely to report that it would be difficult to use telemedicine for contraception during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Underserved patients are those who could benefit most from the expansion of telemedicine services, yet our findings show that young people experiencing basic needs insecurity perceive the greatest difficulty accessing these services for essential reproductive care. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT03519685.

BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1780, 2021 10 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448221


BACKGROUND: Social distancing measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 may profoundly impact young people's relationships. This study compared adolescent and young adults' romantic relationships and sexual activity before and after social distancing policies were enacted. METHODS: In June 2020, 351 youth participating in an ongoing intervention study in Fresno County, California completed an online survey about their experiences related to COVID-19. The survey included open and closed-ended questions about their romantic relationships, sexual activity, and online romantic or sexual interactions before and during social distancing restrictions. We used the chi-square test of independence to compare adolescent (ages 13-17) and young adults' (ages 18-21) responses. Results were also compared to responses in the intervention study's baseline survey. RESULTS: One-third (37%) of youth were dating or in a romantic relationship and 28% spent time in person with a partner early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those dating or in a relationship, 34% physically distanced from their partner due to parental restrictions related to COVID-19. Youth also spent less time in person with their partners during the pandemic than before. Although most youth (69%) were not sexually active before or during the pandemic, 22% had sex during the social distancing period. Young adults were more likely to spend time with their partners and have sex during the restrictions than adolescents. Most youth were not involved in sexting or online dating, before or during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents and young adults have continued to engage in sexual and romantic relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic, although many reported physical distancing from their partners. Results suggest that youth continue to need access to sexual health education and services during emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adolescent , Adult , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexual Behavior , Sexual Partners , Young Adult