Adolescent input for designing an emergency department-based intervention about emergency contraception: Results from an in-depth interview study Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To explore the attitudes of urban, minority adolescent girls about an emergency department (ED)-based intervention to address emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) use. METHODS: We conducted an in-depth, semistructured interview study of healthy, 15- to 19-year-old African-American girls seeking care in a children's hospital ED. Purposive sampling was used to recruit sexually and nonsexually active adolescents and those with or without a history of pregnancy. We collected demographic data and opinions about an ED-based intervention addressing ECP use. A modified grounded theory approach was used for analysis. RESULTS: Thirty interviews were completed. Mean participant age was 16.4 years; 53% reported sexual activity; and 17% reported a history of pregnancy. Most participants expressed that an intervention focused on ECP would be useful in the ED setting, but this varied depending upon the type of ED visit. For example, although most believed that patients with symptoms related to sexual activity should be offered an ECP intervention, fewer stated that this type of intervention would be appropriate for patients presenting with headache or an injury. Participants stated that the information could be delivered by a health care professional or a peer counselor, although no particular delivery modality was clearly favored. CONCLUSIONS: Urban, minority adolescent girls are generally supportive of learning about ECP during an ED visit. Preferences about the appropriateness of the intervention related to the type of patient complaint. Because multiple sources and delivery modalities were acceptable, future studies should determine whether tailoring the source and delivery modality to demographic characteristics enhances the uptake of the message.


  • Mollen, CJ
  • Barg, FK
  • Hayes, KL
  • Gotcsik, M
  • Blades, NM
  • Schwarz, DF

publication date

  • October 1, 2009