VOLUME 4 - NUMBER 1 - 2022
Telemedicine and contraceptive counseling: from pilot interventions to a mainstay
Ignacio Cristóbal García, Mercedes Herrero Conde, Josep Perelló Capó, José Gutiérrez-Alés, Joan Rius-Tarruella, Frederic Llordachs
Short reviews, 18-22
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Background and context: After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), echoed by other international bodies and scientific societies, declared contraceptive and family planning services and supplies essential health services, to be provided to women also during the pandemic. One of the six key actions proposed was to ‘Implement telemedicine using mobile phones and social media as an adjunct to improving information and access to contraception.
Methods: We review the role of telemedicine in contraceptive counseling up to the present day, and discuss how current information and communication technologies (ICTs) may facilitate counseling and widespread access to effective contraceptive methods.
Results: Experience of the use of telemedicine for contraceptive counseling is scarce, but results show that it is associated with a higher knowledge of contraceptive effectiveness, and a high degree of satisfaction among family planning providers and users. Barriers to the implementation of telemedicine implantation are reviewed, particularly with regard to contraceptive counseling. Current ICTs that might help to provide contraceptive counseling and education are reviewed. The authors seek to evaluate how these technologies might be used to provide information and advice based on the needs expressed by women and their eligibility for certain methods of contraception.
Conclusion: To date, the use of telemedicine for contraceptive counseling has been limited. Efforts should be made to reshape the provision of contraceptive counseling using current ICTs.
KEY WORDS: Telemedicine, telehealth, contraception, contraceptive counseling.