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Young women described the benefits of having advance supplies of emergency contraception but emphasised its use as a “last resort” rather than an alternative form of contraception

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 Q What are the views and experiences of young women who have kept advance supplies of emergency contraception (EC) at home?

DESIGN

A postal survey and qualitative interviews, which were part of the Lothian Emergency Contraception Project (LECP). Only the methods and results of the qualitative interviews are reported here.

SETTING

10 general practices in Lothian, UK.

PARTICIPANTS

22 women (16–29 y) who had received advance supplies of EC (5 courses of Schering PC4) to keep at home in the context of the LECP.

METHODS

Women participated in semistructured individual interviews that lasted 45–90 minutes and addressed circumstances of EC use, previous experience with EC, and views about advance supplies and deregulation of EC. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. Analysis used constant comparison techniques and attended to both the structure and content of the women’s talk. 2 researchers regularly discussed coding, tested the analysis in different sections of the data, and explored deviant cases.

MAIN FINDINGS

Views of advance supplies of EC. Women were surprised that they were offered 5 packets of EC and expressed concern that this might send the wrong message about the acceptability of …

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