Factors influencing contraceptive use or non-use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: a systematic review and narrative synthesis
AuthorCoombe, J; Anderson, AE; Townsend, N; Rae, KM; Gilbert, S; Keogh, L; Corby, C; Loxton, D
Source TitleReproductive Health
University of Melbourne Author/sCoombe, Jacqueline
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsCoombe, J., Anderson, A. E., Townsend, N., Rae, K. M., Gilbert, S., Keogh, L., Corby, C. & Loxton, D. (2020). Factors influencing contraceptive use or non-use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: a systematic review and narrative synthesis. REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH, 17 (1), https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-020-01004-8.
Access StatusOpen Access
BACKGROUND: The Australian population has an unmet need for contraception. However, evidence suggests contraceptive patterns of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations are unique. To tailor contraceptive services and meet the contraceptive needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it is important to understand the contributing factors to contraceptive use and non-use. METHODS: This study aimed to systematically review and narratively synthesise the evidence exploring the factors influencing contraceptive use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. A systematic literature search was initially run in September 2016 and was updated again in April and August of 2018. A qualitative narrative synthesis was conducted from 2018 to 2019. Factors influencing contraceptive use or non-use were explored using a Social Ecological Model. RESULTS: The review identified 17 studies meeting the inclusion criteria published between 1972 and 2018. Most of the included studies were qualitative (n = 11), with the remaining studies being mixed methods (n = 3) or quantitative (n = 3). The majority focused on either a localised geographic area or specific Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community (n = 11). One study specifically focused on factors influencing contraceptive use, albeit among postpartum women. The remaining studies discussed factors influencing contraceptive use within the context of risky behaviour, sexual transmitted infections, or contraceptive practices more generally. Factors unique to individual communities included community attitudes (e.g. importance of not being too young to have a baby), specific cultural norms (e.g. subincising the penis as part of transition to manhood), and access to culturally appropriate health services. Other factors, including contraceptive characteristics (e.g. discomfort of condoms) and reproductive coercion (e.g. partner wants a baby), were similar to those found in the broader population of Australia and internationally. Most studies were lacking in quality, warranting more methodologically sound studies in the future to further assess the factors contributing to contraceptive use or non-use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. CONCLUSIONS: Identifying community specific facilitators, as well as understanding the more broadly applicable factors contributing to contraceptive use or non-use, is essential if wanting to offer appropriate contraceptive services within an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community.
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