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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 18, 2015

Contraception: a questionnaire on knowledge and attitude of adolescents, distributed on Facebook

  • Lies Denis EMAIL logo , Machteld Storms EMAIL logo , Lieve Peremans , Kathleen Van Royen and Veronique Verhoeven



The contraceptive pill is widely used. An accurate knowledge is necessary for correct use.


This study sheds light on adolescents’ knowledge, attitude and behavior in regard to contraceptive use, in the year 2014. The goal is to provide general practitioners (GP) with information about the potential gaps in knowledge concerning contraceptive use in order to give better counseling and prevent high-risk behavior in adolescents.


A quantitative descriptive study was carried out among 14–25-year-old female and male adolescents. Data were collected through a web-based survey using the online survey software Qualtrics (Qualtrics, Provo, UT, USA) and was distributed via the social networking site Facebook.


The survey was started by 1185 participants. The most popular contraceptive method among females is the oral contraceptive pill (63.7%). Four out of ten females (42.6%) do not know that when using an emergency pill, they must still take their regular contraceptive pill on the same day. The majority of female respondents (80.0%) go to their general practitioner for a prescription for the pill. Ninety-five percent (95.1%) of the females would feel comfortable asking their GP for extra information about the drug. The sex of the GP does not influence the likelihood of female patients seeking more information. The Internet also seems to serve as an important source of information. We defined a female subgroup, called “vulnerable”. The majority of females in the non-vulnerable group (70.4%) protected themselves before their first sexual contact instead of only half of the members in the vulnerable group (51.0%).


The level of knowledge among adolescents about contraception is not alarming, but there are a few blind spots. Eliminating these gaps should be the aim of the doctor and pharmacologist.

Corresponding authors: Lies Denis and Machteld Storms, Centre for General Practice, Faculty of Medicine, University of Antwerp, Belgium, E-mail: (L. Denis); (M. Storms)
aLies Denis and Machteld Storms: Both of these authors had an equal contribution to the manuscript and should be considered as first author and corresponding author.


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Supplemental Material

The online version of this article (DOI: 10.1515/ijamh-2015-0027) offers supplementary material, available to authorized users.

Received: 2015-3-28
Accepted: 2015-7-10
Published Online: 2015-11-18
Published in Print: 2016-11-1

©2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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