Degree Name

DrPH (Doctor of Public Health)


Public Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Katie Baker

Committee Members

Michael G. Smith, Robert Pack


Shared decision-making (SDM) for contraceptive counseling and method initiation is a hallmark of patient-centered care; SDM is associated with patient satisfaction, method continuation, and the prevention of pregnancy and short inter-pregnancy intervals. To achieve a high-quality experience for women Person-centered approach to counseling is the preferred approach to achieve SDM. Demographic factors and women’s perceptions of their providers have been linked to decision-making. Literature is lacking on SDM practices in safety net clinics, particularly in local health departments. Exploring these constructs is important to inform practices and policies for family planning. This research aimed to examine: 1) the influence of sociodemographic factors on SDM; 2) the influence of SDM on contraceptive method choice; and 3) the effect that women’s perceptions of their providers might have on SDM and associated contraceptive method choice, among non-white women in South Carolina and Alabama. Secondary data were from a longitudinal study that surveyed women of reproductive age (16 to 44 years) from the two states. The data used for this research were collected from non-white women between October 2018 and September 2020 as part of a larger evaluation effort. Bivariate and multinomial analyses were conducted to assess associations and relationships. In Study 1, significant differences in SDM were observed for income and age, with younger women and lower income women having increased odds of engaging in SDM compared to older and higher income counterparts. In Study 2, multinomial analysis indicated that, compared to those who maintained autonomy over their decision, those whose decisions were shared and provider-driven had higher odds of choosing a short-acting method over a less effective method (OR = 1.608 and OR = 2.314, respectively). In Study 3, associations between SDM and women’s perceptions of providers were observed. Compared to those who maintained decision-making autonomy and had positive perceptions of providers, those who engaged in SDM and those whose decisions were least autonomous were more likely to choose a short-acting method over other, less effective contraceptive methods. There is need to further examine whether SDM is underutilized in these settings.

Document Type

Dissertation - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Public Health Commons