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Assessment of Medical Professional Knowledge and Perception of Family Planning Methods

Purpose: This study aimed to assess baseline knowledge of FABMs compared to other family planning methods.


Background: Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABMs) are indicated for family planning and gynecologic health monitoring.  Reports describing medical professional knowledge of FABMs are limited.


Methods: A survey was administered at Loyola University to medical students, residents, and attendings in Obstetrics/Gynecology, Internal Medicine, and Family Medicine. Survey questions compared intrauterine devices (IUD), barrier methods (BM), oral contraceptives (OCP), and FABMs. Friedman and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used for statistical analysis.


Results: Among 164 respondents, over 75% expressed interest in learning about all methods of family planning. Interest was higher for IUD and OCP methods than for FABMs (p< .001). Respondents agree that knowledge of family planning methods are valuable, but value was higher for IUD, OCP, and BM compared to FABMs (p< .002). Medical professionals would more readily recommend (p< .001) and discuss (p< .001) other methods of contraceptives, compared to FABMs. Medical professionals estimated higher interest in learning about artificial contraceptives compared to FABMs (p< .001). Respondentsestimated that artificial contraceptives are more effective than FABMs (p< .001).


Discussions: Data indicate medical professionals are interested in learning about all methods of fertility planning and appreciate the value in each method, but they underestimate the effectiveness of and are uncomfortable discussing FABMs with patients. Our study highlights the need for an inclusive medical curriculum that incorporates FABMs. Ultimately, this training in FABMs will give medical professionals the tools to offer comprehensive and accurate information for family planning and gynecological health tracking.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2020, Student, Resident, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Clerkship Coordinator, Osteopathic Faculty, Residency Director, Residency Coordinator, Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement, Practice-Based Learning & Improvement, GME, CME, UME, Assessment, Public Health, Advocacy, Contraception or Family Planning,

General Information

Student,Resident,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Clerkship Coordinator,Osteopathic Faculty,Residency Director,Residency Coordinator,
Patient Care,Medical Knowledge,Systems-Based Practice & Improvement,Practice-Based Learning & Improvement,
Assessment,Public Health,Advocacy,
Clinical Focus
Contraception or Family Planning,

Author Information

Mary Varsanik, MD Candidate 2020, Loyola Stritch School of Medicine; Bria Murray, MD Candidate 2020; Musso Margaret, MD Candidate 2020; Monica Castillo, MD Candidate 2020; Stephanie Vereb, MD Candidate 2021; Karen Deighan, MD

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