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Time trends in contraceptive prescribing in UK primary care 2000–2018: a repeated cross-sectional study

Pasvol, TJ; Macgregor, EA; Rait, G; Horsfall, L; (2021) Time trends in contraceptive prescribing in UK primary care 2000–2018: a repeated cross-sectional study. BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health 10.1136/bmjsrh-2021-201260. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Over the last 20 years, new contraceptive methods became available and incentives to increase contraceptive uptake were introduced. We aimed to describe temporal trends in non-barrier contraceptive prescribing in UK primary care for the period 2000-2018. METHODS: A repeated cross-sectional study using patient data from the IQVIA Medical Research Data (IMRD) database. The proportion (95% CI) of women prescribed non-barrier contraception per year was captured. RESULTS: A total of 2 705 638 women aged 15-49 years were included. Between 2000 and 2018, the proportion of women prescribed combined hormonal contraception (CHC) fell from 26.2% (26.0%-26.3%) to 14.3% (14.2%-14.3%). Prescriptions for progestogen-only pills (POPs) and long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) rose from 4.3% (4.3%-4.4%) to 10.8% (10.7%-10.9%) and 4.2% (4.1%-4.2%) to 6.5% (6.5%-6.6%), respectively. Comparing 2018 data for most deprived versus least deprived areas, women from the most deprived areas were more likely to be prescribed LARC (7.7% (7.5%-7.9%) vs 5.6% (5.4%-5.8%)) while women from the least deprived areas were more likely to be prescribed contraceptive pills (20.8% (21.1%-21.5%) vs 26.2% (26.5%-26.9%)). In 2009, LARC prescriptions increased irrespective of age and social deprivation in line with a pay-for-performance incentive. However, following the incentive's withdrawal in 2014, LARC prescriptions for adolescents aged 15-19 years fell from 6.8% (6.6%-7.0%) in 2013 to 5.6% (5.4%-5.8%) in 2018. CONCLUSIONS: CHC prescribing fell by 46% while POP prescribing more than doubled. The type of contraception prescribed was influenced by social deprivation. Withdrawal of a pay-for-performance incentive may have adversely affected adolescent LARC uptake, highlighting the need for further intervention to target this at-risk group.

Type: Article
Title: Time trends in contraceptive prescribing in UK primary care 2000–2018: a repeated cross-sectional study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjsrh-2021-201260
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjsrh-2021-201260
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10139008
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