Effects of technology-based contraceptive decision aids: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Rose C. Goueth, Kristin G. Maki, Ayo Babatunde, Karen B. Eden, Blair G. Darney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: This study aimed to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of technology-based decision aids on contraceptive use, continuation, and patient-reported and decision-making outcomes. Data Sources: A systematic search was conducted in OVID MEDLINE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, CENTRAL, CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO, and SocINDEX databases from January 2005 to April 2022. Eligible references from a concurrent systematic review evaluating contraceptive care were also included for review. Study Eligibility Criteria: Studies were included if a contraceptive decision aid was technology-based (ie, mobile/tablet application, web, or computer-based) and assessed contraceptive use and/or continuation or patient-reported outcomes (knowledge, self-efficacy, feasibility/acceptability/usability, decisional conflict). The protocol was registered under the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (CRD42021240755). Methods: Three reviewers independently performed data abstraction and quality appraisal. Dichotomous outcomes (use and continuation) were evaluated with an odds ratio, whereas continuous outcomes (knowledge and self-efficacy) were evaluated with the mean difference. Subgroup analyses were performed for the mode of delivery (mobile and tablet applications vs web and computer-based) and follow-up time (immediate vs >1 month). Results: This review included 18 studies evaluating 21 decision aids. Overall, there were higher odds of contraceptive use and/or continuation among decision aid users compared with controls (odds ratio, 1.27; 95% confidence interval, [1.05–1.55]). Use of computer and web-based decision aids was associated with higher odds of contraceptive use and/or continuation (odds ratio, 1.36; 95% confidence interval, [1.08–1.72]) than mobile and tablet decision aids (odds ratio, 1.27; 95% confidence interval, [0.83–1.94]). Decision aid users also had statistically significant higher self-efficacy scores (mean difference, 0.09; 95% confidence interval, [0.05–0.13]), and knowledge scores (mean difference, 0.04; 95% confidence interval, [0.01–0.07]), with immediate measurement of knowledge having higher retention than measurement after 1 month. Other outcomes were evaluated descriptively (eg, feasibility, applicability, decisional conflict) but had little evidence to support a definite conclusion. Overall, the review provided moderate-level evidence for contraceptive use and continuation, knowledge, and self-efficacy. Conclusion: The use of technology-based contraceptive decision aids to support contraceptive decision-making has positive effects on contraceptive use and continuation, knowledge, and self-efficacy. There was insufficient evidence to support a conclusion about effects on other decision-making outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-713.e9
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • clinical decision-making
  • contraceptive use
  • decision support techniques
  • digital health
  • patient-centered care
  • patient-reported outcome measures
  • reproductive health services
  • shared decision-making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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