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Contraception failure--what remains to be done? Knowledge and attitudes regarding the use of emergency contraception among Austrian women and men during reproductive phase.


Effective hormonal methods for preventing pregnancy after unprotected intercourse are known since the early seventies of the twentieth century. In 1974 Yuzpe et al published a pilot study in which the effectiveness of the application of two doses of ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel levonorgestrel /le·vo·nor·ges·trel/ (-nor-jes´trel) the levorotatory form of norgestrel; used as an oral or subdermal contraceptive.

 within 72 hours after the unprotected intercourse was described. (1) Today emergency contraception Emergency Contraception Definition

Emergency contraception or emergency birth control uses either emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) or a Copper-T intrauterine device (IUD) to help prevent pregnancy following unprotected vaginal intercourse.
 (EC) is available in many countries and represents an important contraceptive contraceptive /con·tra·cep·tive/ (-sep´tiv)
1. diminishing the likelihood of or preventing conception.

2. an agent that so acts.
 option because it is the only form of hormonal contraception Hormonal contraception refers to birth control methods that act on the hormonal system.

Currently, all hormonal contraceptives are designed for use by women rather than men, though research on a male hormonal contraceptive (“the male Pill”) has been underway for
 that can reduce the risk of pregnancy after unprotected intercourse or when a planned contraceptive method Noun 1. contraceptive method - birth control by the use of devices (diaphragm or intrauterine device or condom) or drugs or surgery

birth control, birth prevention, family planning - limiting the number of children born
 fails. (2,3) However, emergency contraceptives remain relatively unknown and are discussed controversially in many countries. (4-10) Several factors are thought to contribute to the low awareness und restricted utilization of EC, including a lack of knowledge and the requirement for a prescription. (11-13) In several countries such as Sweden, France, Norway, Portugal, South Africa South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa.  and the United Kingdom, EC has been reclassified to a non-prescription drug and is available as an over the counter product. (14)

In Austria emergency contraception, also called "morning after pills" is available since 2000, a prescription of a physician or an outpatient department of a hospital is still required. In 2005, the Austrian Ministry for Health permitted pharmacists This is a list of notable pharmacists.
  • Dora Akunyili, Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control of Nigeria
  • Charles Alderton (1857 - 1941), American inventor the soft drink Dr Pepper
  • George F.
 to sell EC over- the- counter in cases that it would be impossible for women to get a prescription in time, such as during weekends or night hours The Night Hours are the fixed times of prayer in the Divine Office of the Roman Catholic Church, that take place after sunset and before sunrise. In the Latin Rite, the main Office is traditionally Matins, said in the early hours of the morning, and which is joined to the office of . The supporters of the reclassification Reclassification

The process of changing the class of mutual funds once certain requirements have been met. These requirements are generally placed on load mutual funds. Reclassification is not considered to be a taxable event.
 of emergency contraceptives to non-prescription drugs are not satisfied with this change. They still claim that emergency contraceptives should be available over-the-counter for all women every time. But what do Austrian women and men of reproductive age think and know about EC?

The main purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge about EC and attitudes about using EC among Austrian women and men of reproductive age.



In total 349 subjects ranging in age between 17 and 39 years (x=24.8 +/- 4.3) were enrolled in the present study. The sample comprised 247 female participants ageing between 17 and 39 years (x=24.1 +/-3.9) and 102 male participants ageing between 19 and 39 years (x=26.4+/- 4.7). The recruitment of the study participants took place at the University of Vienna History
The University was founded on March 12, 1365 by Duke Rudolph IV and his brothers Albert III and Leopold III, hence the additional name "Alma Mater Rudolphina". After the Charles University in Prague, the University of Vienna is the second oldest university in Central
 and via the snowball snowball: see honeysuckle.  system. All participants originated from Austria. The majority of them were unmarried (more than 90%) and childless (about 90%). Nearly the 80% of the respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy.  were University students or had already completed their studies.


The questionnaire was developed by the authors based on the 2003 Henry Kaiser Henry Kaiser may refer to:
  • Henry J. Kaiser (1882–1967), American industrialist
  • Henry Kaiser (musician) (born 1952), grandson of Henry J. Kaiser
 Family Foundation (KFF KFF Kaiser Family Foundation
KFF Kenya Football Federation
KFF King Faisal Foundation
KFF Kerrville Folk Festival
KFF Kung Fu Fighting
KFF Key Flexfield (Oracle)
KFF Kellogg's Frosted Flakes (cereal) 
) Survey. (15) The questionnaire was divided into two parts. The first part comprised questions regarding socioeconomic so·ci·o·ec·o·nom·ic  
Of or involving both social and economic factors.


of or involving economic and social factors

Adj. 1.
 parameters such as educational level, professional training and marital status marital status,
n the legal standing of a person in regard to his or her marriage state.
. Additionally, a reproductive history reproductive history Obstetrics A set of 4 numbers that may be used to define a woman's obstetric Hx–eg, 4-3-2-1, would mean 4 term infants delivered, 3 preterm infants, 2 abortions, 1 child currently living  and the participants' experience with contraception contraception: see birth control.

Birth control by prevention of conception or impregnation. The most common method is sterilization. The most effective temporary methods are nearly 99% effective if used consistently and correctly.
 were documented. The second part included 34 multiple choice questions on the knowledge and attitudes towards emergency contraception (EC). The study was conducted in compliance with the "Ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects" of Helsinki Declaration Helsinki declaration (accords), a declaration signed by the representatives of member nations of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in Helsinki, Finland.

Statistical analysis

Statistical analyses were carried out using SPSS A statistical package from SPSS, Inc., Chicago ( that runs on PCs, most mainframes and minis and is used extensively in marketing research. It provides over 50 statistical processes, including regression analysis, correlation and analysis of variance.  for Windows version 15.0. Also, [chi square chi square (kī),
n a nonparametric statistic used with discrete data in the form of frequency count (nominal data) or percentages or proportions that can be reduced to frequencies.
] tests were computed to calculate group differences with respect to their statistical significance. Additionally, regression analyses were performed to assess the impact of sex, age, educational level, religion, knowledge and previous experiences with EC on attitudes against EC. The critical value for testing significance was p <0.05.


The socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents are shown in table 1.

Knowledge of emergency contraception

The 100% of the female and 98% of the male respondents reported that they have heard of emergency contraception before. Although nearly all respondents have already heard of EC, only 83.4% of the female and 64.7% of the male subjects know that EC is legal available in Austria. How EC is available in Austria was correctly answered by only 54.3% of the female and 36.3% of the male respondents. While 100% of the female and 93.1% of the male respondents know the recommended timing of emergency contraception, only 12.7% of the female and 8.2% of the males gave correct answers regarding the mechanism of action of EC. Up to which week of gestation GESTATION, med. jur. The time during which a female, who has conceived, carries the embryo or foetus in her uterus. By the common consent of mankind, the term of gestation is considered to be ten lunar months, or forty weeks, equal to nine calendar months and a week.  an induced abortion in·duced abortion
Abortion caused intentionally by the administration of drugs or by mechanical means.

induced abortion 
 is legal in Austria, this was correctly answered by the 84.6% of the female and the 67.6% of the male subjects. Only a 48.6% of the female and a 21.6% of the male respondents know that the emergency contraception and the abortion pill abortion pill See Contragestive, Oral contraceptive, RU-486.  RU-486 are different ways to interrupt A signal that gets the attention of the CPU and is usually generated when I/O is required. For example, hardware interrupts are generated when a key is pressed or when the mouse is moved. Software interrupts are generated by a program requiring disk input or output.  pregnancy (for more detailed information see table 2).The sources of information regarding EC are listed in table 3.

Experience of emergency contraception

The 30% of the female respondents have previously used emergency contraception of whom, the 5.7% has used the method more than once. Women younger than 30 years were more frequent users than women older than 30 years (31.1% versus 18.1%). The 22.2% of the male subjects reported that their partner had used EC previously. Individual experiences with EC were documented for female subjects only. The 86.4% of women with EC experience was satisfied with the effect of EC. Only a 24.2% reported side effects Side effects

Effects of a proposed project on other parts of the firm.
 such as nausea nausea, sensation of discomfort, or queasiness, in the stomach. It may be caused by irritation of the stomach by food or drugs, unpleasant odors, overeating, fright, or psychological stress. It is usually relieved by vomiting.  (10.8%), depressive disorder depressive disorder Psychiatry Any of a number of conditions characterized by one or more depressive episodes–major DD, depressed mood–dysthymic disorder and adjustment disorder with depressed mood, and those that do not fit the criteria of other  (9.5%) or abdominal pains Abdominal pain can be one of the symptoms associated with transient disorders or serious disease. Making a definitive diagnosis of the cause of abdominal pain can be difficult, because many diseases can result in this symptom. Abdominal pain is a common problem.  (8.1%). The 16.2% (n=12) reported that they suffered from a sense of guilt after using EC.

Attitudes towards EC

Attitudes towards EC are listed table 5. Significantly more female respondents (11.7%) reported ethical or religious doubts for the use of EC. This was only true for the 3.0% of the male respondents. In contrast, more male respondents interpreted EC as a kind of induced abortion (15.7% versus 13.8% in women). This difference however was not of statistical significance. Nevertheless, significantly more male subjects think that EC should be available as a prescription free over-the-counter product (32.7% versus 30.0%). Significantly more men regarded contraception as an exclusively female task, 3.0 versus 0.4%. Only few factors influencing attitudes towards EC were identified (see table 6). Sex and the opinion that "EC and induced abortion are the same thing" were related significantly with ethical or religious doubts against EC. Neither religion nor age, educational level or the previous experience with EC influenced the attitudes towards EC significantly.


The awareness about emergency contraception is extremely high among the respondents of the present study although not only University students were included in the sample. All women and 98% of the men who participated have already heard about emergency contraception. This percentage is extremely high and only comparable to the results of a Finnish study, which yielded an awareness of 100% of EC among teenage girls. (16) Other comparable studies yielded lower or much lower percentages of ever hearing about EC. (4,13,17) A relatively high frequency of awareness of EC (94%) was reported by Vahratian et al (18), who analyzed an·a·lyze  
tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.

2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.

 students at the University of Michigan (body, education) University of Michigan - A large cosmopolitan university in the Midwest USA. Over 50000 students are enrolled at the University of Michigan's three campuses. The students come from 50 states and over 100 foreign countries.  and by Corbett et al (19) who reported that the 96% of a college student population had heard about EC previously. Extremely low is the awareness of EC even among students in African countries and India. (20-23)

Regarding knowledge it turned out, that in the present study, men were generally less well- informed about EC. Although nearly all respondents have previously heard about EC and all women and more than 90% of the men know the recommended timing of EC, only the 12.7% of women and the 8.2% of men know how emergency contraception prevents pregnancy. Furthermore, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the availability of EC in Austria. Again men are themselves hesitant hes·i·tant  
Inclined or tending to hesitate.

hesi·tant·ly adv.
 to be informed on contraception issues. Furthermore nearly 50% of the male participants were not aware of the high- risk period for pregnancy during the menstrual cycle menstrual cycle
The recurring cycle of physiological changes in the uterus, ovaries, and other sexual structures that occur from the beginning of one menstrual period through the beginning of the next.
. Interestingly, this also happened to almost a 20% of the female sample. This lack of knowledge is in accordance with the results of others studies. (20,21,24)

The general lack of knowledge may be attributed to the sources of information. Both sexes reported that media, school and friends were the main sources of information. The gynaecologist or physician was considered information source only by a minority of respondents. This observation is also in agreement with those of previous studies. (5,6,21) Nevertheless, the amount of women who had personal experience with the use of EC was rather high. The 30 % of the female respondents used EC in the past, although EC is not available over the-counter in Austria.

The use of EC was not statistically associated with age, educational level and religion. The majority of women who used EC were satisfied with EC and did not suffer from a sense of guilt. Side effects were also only reported by a minority of women. Regarding attitudes towards EC, male and female respondents differ significantly. In particular, more female respondents reported ethical or religious doubts against EC.

Focusing now to the initial question: should be EC available over- the- counter in Austria, as recommended by several gynaecologists and women's health Women's Health Definition

Women's health is the effect of gender on disease and health that encompasses a broad range of biological and psychosocial issues.
 centres in Austria? As indicated out in the introduction section in Austria EC is available over- the- counter, only during night hours or weekends, when women who forgot to use a contraceptive have no access to a gynaecologist or a hospital outpatient department. In this case, it depends on the pharmacist pharmacist /phar·ma·cist/ (fahr´mah-sist) one who is licensed to prepare and sell or dispense drugs and compounds, and to make up prescriptions.

 whether EC is sold over- the- counter without prescription or not.

Furthermore, it was reported that physicians have refused to write a prescription for EC because of moral or religious doubts. There is no doubt that this situation is a very unsatisfying one. Therefore women's health centres and some gynaecologists demand a new, more liberal, regulation of EC distribution. In the present study, about 30% of the respondents have previously used EC nevertheless more than 50% of the respondents confused EC with abortion pills, a misconception mis·con·cep·tion  
A mistaken thought, idea, or notion; a misunderstanding: had many misconceptions about the new tax program.
 that was found in many previous studies and which seems difficult to change. (14,25)

Regarding the question if EC should be available as non prescription drug prescription drug Prescription medication Pharmacology An FDA-approved drug which must, by federal law or regulation, be dispensed only pursuant to a prescription–eg, finished dose form and active ingredients subject to the provisos of the Federal Food, Drug,  over-the- counter in Austria about 30% of female as well as male respondents agreed. Significantly more women were against this idea, 57.1% versus 40.6% of men. Significantly more men than women had no opinion to this question 26.7% versus 13.0%. The attitude towards EC available over -the- counter was not significantly influenced by religion, educational level, age or experience with EC. Only a third of the respondents plead plead v. 1) in civil lawsuits and petitions, the filing of any document (pleading) including complaints, petitions, declarations, motions, and memoranda of points and authorities.  for a prescription free availability of EC in Austria. In a Swedish study all participants appreciated an over the counter availability of EC, however this investigation was performed after EC was approved as an over- the- counter product. (14) Apparently, much more women would appreciate an over- the-counter availability of EC in Austria, when this possibility would be legal. On the other hand a more detailed information campaign would improve knowledge and attitudes towards EC, because we found a high frequency of misconceptions Misconceptions is an American sitcom television series for The WB Network for the 2005-2006 season that never aired. It features Jane Leeves, formerly of Frasier, and French Stewart, formerly of 3rd Rock From the Sun.  and a lack of knowledge concerning EC in our sample. Although this study has limitations such as the relatively small sample size and especially the small number of male respondents, it may initiate further discussion concerning EC in Austria and other countries as well.


The authors would like to express their gratitude to the participants of the study.

Conflict of interest: None declared


(1.) Yuzpe AA, Thurlow HJ, Ramzy I, Leyshon JI. Post coital co·i·tus  
Sexual union between a male and a female involving insertion of the penis into the vagina.

[Latin, from past participle of co
 contraception--A pilot study. J Reprod Med 1974; 13: 53-58.

(2.) Trussell J, Ellerson C, Dorflinger L. Effectiveness of the Yuzpe regimen Yuzpe Regimen
A two-dose treatment with combined ECPs to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse; the first dose is taken as soon as possible and the second dose is taken 12 hours after the first.

Mentioned in: Emergency Contraception
 of emergency contraception by cycle day of intercourse: implications for mechanism of action Contraception 2003;67:167-171.

(3.) Black KI. Developments and challenges in emergency contraception. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynecol 2009;23:221-231.

(4.) Baldwin SB, Solorio R, Washington DL, Yo H, Huang YC, Brown ER. Who is using emergency contraception? Awareness and use of emergency contraception among Californias women and teens Women's Health Issues 2008; 18: 360-368.

(5.) Campbell JW, Busby SC, Steyer TE. Attitudes and beliefs about emergency contraception among patients at academic family medicine clinics. Ann Fam Med 2008; 6: 23-27.

(6.) Gee RE, Delli-Bovi LC, Chuang CH. Emergency contraception knowledge after a community education campaign. Contraception 2007;76:366-371.

(7.) Wallace JL, Wu J, Weinstein J, Gorenflo DW, Fetters fet·ter  
1. A chain or shackle for the ankles or feet.

2. Something that serves to restrict; a restraint.

tr.v. fet·tered, fet·ter·ing, fet·ters
1. To put fetters on; shackle.
 MD. Emergency contraception: Knowledge and attitudes of family medicine providers Fam Med 2004;36: 417-422.

(8.) Williamson LM, Buston K, Sweeting sweet·ing  
1. A sweet apple.

2. Archaic Sweetheart.
 H. Young women's perceptions of pregnancy risk and use of emergency contraception: finding from a qualitative study. Contraception 2009;79: 310-315.

(9.) Soon JA, Meckley LM, Levine M, Marciante KD, Fielding DW, Ensom MHH MHH Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany)
MHH Marsh Harbour, Bahamas (Airport Code)
MHH Mast Head Height
MHH Multi Homed Host
. Modelling costs and outcomes of expanded availability of emergency contraceptive use in British Columbia British Columbia, province (2001 pop. 3,907,738), 366,255 sq mi (948,600 sq km), including 6,976 sq mi (18,068 sq km) of water surface, W Canada. Geography
. Can J Clin Pharmacol 2007; 14: 326.338.

(10.) Kavanaugh ML, Schwarz EB. Counselling about and use of emergency contraception in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. . Perspect Sexual Reprod Health 2008;40: 81-86.

(11.) Konsunen E, Sihvo S, Hemminki E. Knowledge and use of hormonal emergency contraception in Finland. Contraception 1997; 55: 153-157.

(12.) George J, Turner J, Cooke E, Hennesey E, Savage W, Julian P, Cochrane R. Women's knowledge of emergency contraception. Brit brit also britt  
1. The young of herring and similar fish.

2. Minute marine organisms, such as crustaceans of the genus Calanus, that are a major source of food for right whales.
 J Gen Practice 1994; 44: 451-454.

(13.) Foster DG, Ralph LJ, Arons A, Brindis CD, Harper CC. Trends in knowledge of emergency contraception among women in California, 1999-2004. Women's Health Issues 2007;17:22-28.

(14.) Aneblom G, Larsson M, von Essen von Essen is a Swedish and originally German noble family.  L, Tyden T. Women's voices about emergency contraceptive pills "over-the-counter": a Swedish perspective. Contraception 2002;66:339-343.

(15.) Salganicoff A, Wentworth B, Ranji U. Emergency contraception in California. The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), or just Kaiser Family Foundation, is a U.S.-based non-profit, private operating foundation headquartered in Menlo Park, California.  Survey,2004.

(16.) Falah-Hassani K, Kosunen E, Shiri R, Rimpela . Emergency contraception among Finnish adolescents: awareness, use and the effect of non-prescription status. BMC (BMC Software, Inc., Houston, TX, A leading supplier of software that supports and improves the availability, performance, and recovery of applications in complex computing environments.  Public Health 2007;7: 201-213.

(17.) Sorhaindo A, Becker D, Fletcher H, Garcia SG. Emergency contraception among university students in Kingston, Jamaica The City of Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica. It is located on the southeastern coast of the island country at Coordinates: . : a survey of knowledge, attitudes and practices. Contraception 2002;66: 261-268.

(18.) Vahratian A, Patel DA, Wolff K, Xu X. College students perceptions of emergency contraception provision. J Women's Health 2008;17: 103-111.

(19.) Corbett PO, Mitchell CP, Taylor JS, Kemppainen J. Emergency contraception knowledge and perception in a university population. J Am Acad Nurse Pract 2006;18:161-168.

(20.) Addo VN, Tagoe-Darko ED. Knowledge, practices and attitudes regarding emergency contraception among students at a university in Ghana. Int J Gynecol Obstet 2009;105:206-209.

(21.) Akani CI, Enyindah CE, Babatunde S. Emergency contraception: knowledge and perception of female undergraduates in the Niger delta The Niger Delta, the delta of the Niger River in Nigeria, is a densely populated region sometimes called the Oil Rivers because it was once a major producer of palm oil.  of Nigeria. Ghana Med J 208;42:68-70.

(22.) Myer L, Mlobeli R, Cooper D, Smit J, Morroni C. Knowledge and use of emergency contraception in Western Cape The Western Cape is a province in the south west of South Africa. The capital is Cape Town. Prior to 1994, the region that now forms the Western Cape was part of the huge (and now defunct) Cape Province.  province of South Africa: a cross-sectional study cross-sectional study
See synchronic study.

cross-sectional study,
n the scientific method for the analysis of data gathered from two or more samples at one point in time.
. BMC Women's Health 2007;7:14-20.

(23.) Puri S, Bhatia V, Swami HM, Singh A, Sehgal A, Kaur AP. Awareness of emergency contraception among female college students in Chadigarh, India. Ind J Med Sci 2007;61:338-346.

(24.) Kang HS, Moneyham L. Use of emergency contraceptive pills and condoms by college students: A survey. Int J Nurs Stud stud

1. purebred.

2. a place, usually a farm, at which purebred animals are maintained and reproduced.

stud animal
an animal registered in a stud book.

(25.) Aneblom G, Larsson M, Odlind V, Tyden T. Knowledge, use and attitudes towards emergency contraceptive pills among Swedish women presenting for induced abortion. Br J Obstet Gynecol 2002;109:155-160.

Claudia Mayerhofer, Sylvia Kirchengast

Department of Anthropology anthropology, classification and analysis of humans and their society, descriptively, culturally, historically, and physically. Its unique contribution to studying the bonds of human social relations has been the distinctive concept of culture. , University of Vienna

Corresponding author: Sylvia Kirchengast, Department of Anthropology

University of Vienna

Althanstrasse 14

A-1090 Vienna, Austria

Table 1. Demographic characteristics of the study sample

Characteristic               All subjects      Males
                              (n = 349)      (n = 102)
                                n (%)          n (%)

Age (years)
< 30 a                       307 (88.0%)     82 (80.4%)
30-40a                        42 (12.0%)     20 (19.6%)

Highest level of education
Primary school                 2 (0.6%)       1 (1.0%)
Professional training         30 (8.6%)      12 (11.8%)
College                      240 (68.8%)     65 (63.7%)
University degree             41 (11.7%)     17 (16.7%)
Others                        36 (10.3%)      7 (6.9%)

None                         121 (35.0%)     40 (40.4%)
Roman-Catholic               202 (58.4%)     52 (52.5%)
Protestant                    17 (4.9%)       6 (6.1%)
Others                         6 (1.8%)       1 (1.0%)

Civil status
Single                       111 (31.8%)     42 (41.2%)
Married                       21 (6.0%)       7 (6.9%)
Unmarried, steady
relationship (> 1 year)      171 (49.0%)     40 (39.2%)
Unmarried, short                                 1
relationship (< 1 year)       46 (13.2%)      3 (12.7%)

Civil status
none                         315 (90.5%)     86 (85.1%)
1                             21 (6.0%)       9 (8.9%)
2                              8 (2.3%)       5 (4.0%)
3                              2 (0.6%)       1 (1.0%)
4                              1 (0.3%)       1 (1.0%)
7                              1 (0.3%)       0 (0.0%)

Characteristic                 Females      Significance
                              (n = 247)
                                n (%)

Age (years)
< 30a                        225 (91.1%)       <0.01
30-40a                        22 (8.9%)

Highest level of education
Primary school                 1 (0.4%)         n.s.
Professional training         18 (73%)
College                      175 (70.9%)
University degree             24 (9.7%)
Others                        29 (11.7%)

None                          81 (32.8%)        n.s.
Roman-Catholic               150 (60.7%)
Protestant                    11 (4.5%)
Others                         5 (2.0%)

Civil status
Single                        69 (27.9%)        n.s.
Married                       14 (5.7%)
Unmarried, steady
relationship (> 1 year)      131 (53.0%)
Unmarried, short
relationship (< 1 year)       33 (13.4%)

Civil status
none                         229 (92.7%)        n.s.
1                             12 (4.9%)
2                              4 (1.6%)
3                              1 (0.4%)
4                              0 (0.0%)
7                              1 (0.3%)

Table 2. Knowledge about EC: Absolute and relative
amount of correct answers according to gender

Knowledge              All subjects      Males
                        (n = 349)      (n = 102)

Heard of EC?           347 (99.4%)    100 (98.0%)

Is EC available        272 (77.9%)     66 (64.7%)
in Austria?

How is EC in Austria   171 (49.0%)     37 (36.3%)

Know the mechanism      39 (11.4%)      8 (8.2%)
of action

Identifying the        342 (98%)       95 (93.1%)
recommended timing
of EC

Know when in the       256 (73.6%)     52 (51.5%)
menstrual cycles
risk/possibility of

Know how long          277 (79.6%)     69 (67.6%)
induced abortion is
legal in Austria

Is EC the same         142 (40.7%)     22 (21.6%)
like the abortion
pill RU-486?

Knowledge                Females      Significance
                        (n = 247)

Heard of EC?           247 (100.0%)       n.s.

Is EC available        206 (83.4%)      < 0.001
in Austria?

How is EC in Austria   134 (54.3%)       <0.001

Know the mechanism      31 (12.7%)        n.s.
of action

Identifying the        247 (100.0%)      <0.001
recommended timing
of EC

Know when in the       204 (82.6%)       <0.001
menstrual cycles
risk/possibility of

Know how long          208 (84.6%)       <0.005
induced abortion is
legal in Austria

Is EC the same         120 (48.6%)       <0.001
like the abortion
pill RU-486?

Table 3. Sources of information of EC by sex

Source                  All subjects      Males
                         (n = 349)      (n = 102)
                           n (%)          n (%)

TV                       72 (20.6%)     25 (24.5%
Media (incl Internet)   114 (32.7%)     26 (25.5%)
Friends                 104 (29.8%)     18 (17.6%)
Relatives                21 (6.0%)       6 (5.9%)
School                   83 (23.8%)     22 (21.6%)
Gynecologist             33 (9.5%)       5 (4.9%)

Source                    Females      Significance
                         (n = 247)
                           n (%)

TV                       47 (19.0%)        n.s.
Media (incl Internet)    88 (35.6%)        n.s.
Friends                  86 (82.7%)       <0.001
Relatives                15 (6.1%)         n.s.
School                   61 (24.7%)        n.s.
Gynecologist             28 (11.3%)        n.s.

Table 4. Experiences with ECP (females only)

Questions                                                      n (%)

Have you ever use EC?                      never            173 (70.0%)
                                            One              60 (24.3%)
                                       Several times         14 (5.7%)

Do you know somebody                        yes             155 (62.8%)
who has used EC?                            no               74 (30.0%)
                                       I don't know          18 (7.3%)

What was the reason for EC use?    Contraception failure     58 (78.4%)
                                  unprotected intercourse    16 (21.6%)

Were you satisfied with EC                  Yes              64 (86.4%)
                                            No                5 (6.8%)
                                       I don't know           5 (6.8%)

Did you suffer from                         Yes              18 (24.2%)
side effects of EC?                         no               56 (75.8%)

Experienced side effects                  Nausea              8 (10.8%)
                                         Vomiting             0 (0.0%)
                                        Head aches            1 (1.4%)
                                        Depression            7 (9.5%)
                                      Abdominal pains         6 (8.1%)
                                          others              0 (0.0%)

Did you suffer from sense                   no               60 (81.1%)
of guilt?                                   yes              12 (16.2%)
                                       I don't know           2 (2.7%)

Table 5. Attitudes towards contraception and EC
according to sex

Questions                         males       females    Significance
                                  n (%)        n (%)

Would you have        Yes        3 (3.0%)    29 (11.7%)      <0.03
ethical or             No       88 (87.1%)  200 (81.0%)
religious doubts  I don't know  10 (9.9%)    18 (7.3%)
to use EC?

Should be EC be       Yes       33 (32.7%)   74 (30.0%)      <0.003
available over         No       41 (40.6%)  141 (57.1%)
the counter?      I don't know  27 (26.7%)   32 (13.0%)

Is EC an induced      Yes       16 (15.7%)   34 (13.8%)       n.s.
abortion?              No       73 (71.6%)  189 (76.8%)
                  I don't know  13 (12.7%)   23 (9.3%)

Should                Yes        3 (3.0%)     1 (0.4%)       <0.04
contraception be       No       87 (96.0%)  246 (99.6%)
an exclusively    I don't know   1 (1.0%)     0 (0.0%)
female task?

Table 6. Regression analyses

                            Coefficient   Significance   95% confidence

Ethical or religious doubts
  Sex                          -0.14         <0.01         -0.23-0.03
  Religion                     0.05           n.s.         -0.05-0.13
  Educational level            0.03           n.s.         -0.09-0.14
  Age                          -0.03          n.s.         -0.01-0.01
  Experience with EC           -0.08          n.s.         -0.09-0.01
  EC is a kind of induced      0.17          <0.001        0.06-0.23

Should EC be available over the counter?
  Sex                          -0.06          n.s.         -0.26-0.08
  Religion                     -0.05          n.s.         -0.21-0.09
  Educational level            -0.04          n.s.         -0.25-0.12
  Age                          0.04           n.s.         -0.01-0.02
  Experience with EC           0.01           n.s.         -0.08-0.09
  EC is a kind of induced      0.01           n.s.         -0.13-0.16

Is EC a kind of induced abortion?
  Sex                          -0.02          n.s.         -0.15-0.10
  Religion                     -0.01          n.s.         -0.12-0.11
  Educational level            0.03           n.s.         -0.09-0.17
  Age                          0.01           n.s.         -0.01-0.01
  Experience with EC           -0.06          n.s.         -0.09-0.03
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Title Annotation:original article
Author:Mayerhofer, Claudia; Kirchengast, Sylvia
Publication:International Journal of Health Science
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:4EUAU
Date:Apr 1, 2009
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