SLMS Academic Careers Office

18. Improving women’s choice and uptake of effective contraceptive methods through development of interactive digital interventions

Supervisor Pair: Judith Stephenson and Ann Blandford
Potential Student’s Home Department: IfWH, Department of Reproductive Health

Reducing unintended pregnancy is a national and global priority. This goal requires many steps including timely education about effective methods of contraception. However, many women are still not aware of the range of methods available. The less well known methods (implants and coils) are over 20 times more effective at preventing pregnancy than the well-known methods (pill and condoms) but misperceptions about their effects, e.g. on weight and return to fertility, are common. Finding cost-effective ways of delivering accurate information and helping women to choose the best contraceptive option for them is key to reducing unintended pregnancies.

Increasingly, women turn to digital resources for information on healthcare and NHS services need to respond accordingly. By combining UCL’s internationally recognised expertise in sexual & reproductive health with human computer interaction, this project will develop and test an interactive digital intervention (IDI) to help women decide between different contraceptive choices.

Once developed, the IDI will undergo feasibility testing with a small cohort of women recruited from general practice, sexual health and abortion services, to evaluate patient and provider views, leading to recommendations for large scale evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of the IDI on choice of contraceptive method, uptake and adherence.