A review of contraception and abortion content in family medicine textbooks

Finn D. Schubert, Sarp Aksel, Ariana H. Bennett, Nancy R. Glassman, Marji Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Family physicians are critical providers of reproductive health care in the United States, and family physicians and trainees refer to textbooks as a source of clinical information. This study evaluates the coverage of reproductive health topics in current family medicine textbooks. METHODS: We identified 12 common family medicine textbooks through a computerized literature search and through the recommendations of a local family medicine clerkship and evaluated 24 areas of reproductive health content (comprising contraceptive care, management of early pregnancy loss, and provision of induced abortion) for accuracy and thoroughness using criteria that we created based on the latest guidelines. RESULTS: All contraceptive methods evaluated were addressed in more than half of the textbooks, though discrepancies existed by method, with intrauterine devices (IUDs), external (male) condoms, and diaphragms addressed most frequently (10/12 texts) and male and female sterilization addressed least frequently (8/12 texts). While most contraceptive methods, when addressed, were usually addressed accurately, IUDs were often addressed inaccurately. Coverage of early pregnancy loss management was limited to 7/12 texts, and coverage of early abortion methods was even more limited, with only 4/12 texts addressing the topic. CONCLUSIONS: Family medicine textbooks do not uniformly provide correct and thorough information on reproductive health topics relevant to family medicine, and attention is needed to ensure that family physicians are receiving appropriate information and training to meet the reproductive health needs of US women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)524-528
Number of pages5
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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