Regional differences in knowledge, attitudes, and practice in emergency contraceptive use among health sciences university students in Brazil

The aim of this study was to evaluate regional differences in knowledge, attitudes, and practice in emergency contraception use among Brazilian university students. A sample of university students answered a semi-structured questionnaire on knowledge, attitudes, and practice related to emergency contraception and sexual behavior. Fisher's exact test and ANOVA were used for statistical analysis. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. Ninety-six percent (n = 588) of the students had heard of emergency contraception, and 19% (n = 111) knew all the situations in which emergency contraception is indicated, with statistical differences between regions of the country. Forty-two percent of sexually active women in the sample had already used emergency contraception; 35% (n = 207) of students equated emergency contraception with abortion; and 81% (n = 473) thought emergency contraception involves health risks. No significant difference was observed between regions of the country regarding use and attitudes towards emergency contraception. Inter-regional differences in knowledge had no impact on students' attitudes and practice in emergency contraception. National awareness-raising campaigns are needed to improve knowledge on emergency contraception.

Postcoital Contraception; Adolescent Behavior; Adolescent Medicine; Adolescent; Sexuality

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