There are ethnically and socioeconomically diverse areas with high rates of unplanned pregnancy. There are concerns that online services can increase health inequalities; that is why this study was conducted to describe service-users according to age, ethnicity, and IMD quintile of the area of residence and to examine the association of these with repeated use.

The study was done by analyzing routinely collected data and described service-users using available sociodemographic factors and information on patterns of use. Logistic regression analysis examined factors associated with repeat ordering of OCPs.

The service was accessed by 726 individuals, self-identified as being of the white ethnic group, and residents of the first and second most deprived IMD quintiles. Compared with those of the white ethnic group, those of black ethnic groups were significantly less likely to make repeat orders, as were those of Asian and mixed ethnic groups.

These are the first empirical findings on free, online contraception and this study concluded that early adopters broadly reflect the population of the local area in terms of ethnic diversity and deprivation as measured by IMD. Ongoing service development should prioritize the identification and removal of barriers that may inhibit repeat use for black and minority ethnic groups.

Reference: https://srh.bmj.com/content/46/4/287