RESEARCH – November 2009

Women’s preferences and satisfaction with family planning services in Estonia


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KEYWORDS: sexual health, family planning, contraceptive services, satisfaction

AIM. This study aimed to invest igate women’s usage of, preferences for, and  satisfaction with different contraceptive service providers in Estonia.

METHODS. Data from the population-based postal questionnaire survey “Estonian Women’s Health Survey”, conducted in 2004–2005, concerning 866 women aged 25–44 years who visited different health care service providers in order to get contraceptive counselling during the last five years were analysed. The probability of satisfaction with friendliness, confidentiality, competence, and length of the visit was assessed and expressed as an odds ratio (and its 95% confidence interval) adjusted to background variables and calculated using the method of logistic regression.

RESULTS. The majority of the respondents attended (74%) and preferred (67%) the counselling provided by a gynaecologist in a women’s outpatient clinic; the remainder had made use of and preferred private clinics (17% and 17% respectively) and family doctors’ centres (9% and 7%). Of the respondents, at least 84% were satisfi ed with all studied aspects of care in different types of services. Women were more likely to be  satisfi ed with friendliness, confi dentiality, competence and length of the visit in other types of services compared with women´s outpatient clinics; the relationship was statistically signif icant for length of the visit (adjusted odds ratio OR=2.84 95%CI 1.31–6.18) and confidentiality (adjusted odds ratio OR=2.44; 95%CI 1.05–5.67) in private clinics, and for length of the visit in family doctors’ centres (adjusted odds ratio OR=5.97; 95%CI 1.38–25.82).

CONCLUSION. The period of the past 15 years has seen the addition of many new health care establishments offering family planning counsel ling in Estonia. Never theless, women most frequently seek counselling from women’s outpatient clinics. At the same time, satisfaction with family doctors’ centres and private clinics is the proof of the high quality of their services. In order to ensure continued decline in the number of abortions and in order to reduce the workload of gynaecologists, the role of family doctors’ centres needs to be signifi cantly increased. This requires a shift in women’s preferences, which is connected with both education and prevailing attitudes towards unwanted pregnancies.