Exploring knowledge and attitudes about emergency contraceptive pills among university students in Jamaica. A qualitative approach.

The West Indian medical journal

PubMedID: 15114892

Sorhaindo A, Becker D, Fletcher H, Garcia S, Mitchell S. Exploring knowledge and attitudes about emergency contraceptive pills among university students in Jamaica. A qualitative approach. West Indian Med J. 2004;53(1):33-8.
Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) are an important option for university students who may be at high risk for unplanned pregnancies. In the Caribbean, little research has been carried out on university student's knowledge and opinions of this method. This study uses qualitative methodology to explore knowledge and opinions on ECPs among university students attending The University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona campus. We conducted eight focus groups (n = 71) with female and male university students at The University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica, in March 2000. The group discussions lasted approximately two hours. We tape-recorded discussions and then transcribed and analyzed them by coding responses according to themes. General knowledge of ECPs was high, but students lacked specific information about the method such as its time frame and its mechanism of action. Most students supported the method, especially after learning correct information. However, several students were concerned about its side effects and the potential for abuse or irresponsible use by young adults. Although the university students in this study lacked detailed information about ECPs, their opinion toward the method was favourable. We suggest further research to investigate the prevalence of misinformation about the method among other groups of Jamaicans.