Objectives To assess the knowledge of laypersons about contraceptive methods and to pilot an educational strategy.
Design Cross-sectional survey using an anonymous questionnaire followed by an educational intervention.
Participants A total of 167 respondents to 400 invitations.
Method A questionnaire with 10 questions about contraceptive methods was answered before a meeting between laypersons and health professionals. Small groups facilitated by a health professional discussed the answers. One representative from each group presented the conclusions. At the end of the discussion session, gynaecologists gave lectures about contraceptive methods.
Results Of the 167 people who attended, only 65 (39%) individuals handed over their anonymous answers for analysis. Those who did knew about the existence of contraceptive methods, but most of them showed incorrect or little knowledge about mechanism of action or risks.
Conclusion Embarrassment led many participants not to hand in their questionnaires but the results were evidence of the need for educational interventions. Lessons learnt from this experience are discussed.
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