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Development and Pilot Testing of a Patient-Centered Web-Based Reproductive Decision Support Tool for Primary Care.

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Patient-centered counseling to help women achieve their reproductive goals is an essential yet often absent component of primary care.


We developed and piloted MyPath, a novel web-based decision support tool integrating reproductive goals assessment, information about optimizing health before pregnancy, and contraceptive decision support, for use prior to primary care visits in the Veterans Administration (VA).


We created MyPath using best practices for decision tool development, including a conceptual framework informed by theory and user-centered design with input from patients, providers, and scientific experts. We conducted a non-randomized pilot in two VA Women's Health primary care clinics. A control group (n = 28) was recruited prior to and intervention group (n = 30) recruited after introduction of MyPath into clinics.


Women Veterans ages 18-44 with an upcoming visit scheduled with one of eight providers.


After recruitment of controls, providers and staff received a brief introduction to MyPath. Patients scheduled to see providers in the intervention phase used MyPath on an iPad in the waiting room prior to their visit.

Main measures

Acceptability, feasibility, discussions about pregnancy and/or contraceptive needs, and contraceptive decision quality by a survey of participants and providers.

Key results

Nearly all participants who used MyPath reported they learned new information (97%) and would recommend it to other Veterans (93%). No providers reported that MyPath significantly increased workload. A greater proportion of intervention participants reported having discussions about reproductive needs in their visit compared to controls (93% vs 68%; p = 0.02). Intervention participants also experienced greater increases in pre-/post-visit knowledge and communication self-efficacy and a trend towards greater reduction in contraceptive decision conflict compared to controls.


MyPath was highly acceptable to women, increased the proportion of primary care visits addressing reproductive needs, and improved decision quality without increasing providers' perceived workload. A larger randomized evaluation of effectiveness is warranted.

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