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Original Research

Comparison of contraceptive choices of rural and urban US adults aged 18-55 years: an analysis of 2004 behavioral risk factor surveillance survey data

Submitted: 28 February 2009
Revised: 29 May 2009
Published: 21 July 2009

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Author(s) : Tobar A, Lutfiyya M, Mabasa Y, Meena H, McGrath C, Brady S, Aguero C, Bales R, King M.

Adriana Tobar May Nawal LutfiyyaYvette MabasaHemlata MeenaCynthia McGrathShelley BradyCarlos AgueroRobert BalesMitch King

Citation: Tobar A, Lutfiyya M, Mabasa Y, Meena H, McGrath C, Brady S, Aguero C, Bales R, King M.  Comparison of contraceptive choices of rural and urban US adults aged 18-55 years: an analysis of 2004 behavioral risk factor surveillance survey data. Rural and Remote Health 9: 1186. (Online) 2009. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au

ABSTRACT

Introduction:  Although sexually active US adults wanting to prevent pregnancy have a wide variety of birth control methods readily available, there is little research that documents the contraceptive choices of rural adults in comparison to urban adults. This study compared the contraceptive choices of rural with urban adults. The comparative analysis joins the recent dialog in population health focused on assessing health related differences to detect if these are indicative of rural health disparities.
Methods:  Design: This was a cross-sectional study analyzing 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) data. Place of residence was ascertained by re-coding the state/county FIPS code as either urban or rural, based on 2003 Rural-Urban Continuum Codes from the US Office of Management and Budget (setting: US households; participants: US adults 18–55 years). Main outcome measures: characteristics and contraceptive method choice of rural adults using birth control.
Results:  A multivariate regression model performed with ‘use of birth control’ as the dependent variable yielded that rural in comparison with urban adults 18–55 years were more likely to use female or male sterilization, non-injectable and injectable hormones for birth control. They were less likely to use: condoms, a diaphragm or NuvaRing®, emergency contraception, withdrawal or rhythm methods. Additionally, in comparison with urban adults, rural persons younger than 35 years, those who had children younger than 18 years living with them, those who were partnered, males and those living in households with an income of less than US$35,000 were more likely to report using some form of contraception.
Conclusion:  There were differences in the contraception choices of urban and rural adults. How much primary care provider preferences explains the differences is not known and bears further exploration. These results should prove useful to healthcare providers as well as public health family planning programs.

Key words:  Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), contraceptive choices, rural US adults, USA.

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