This study investigates associations between area-level socioeconomic disadvantage, individual-level socioeconomic position, and contraception use in the. Multilevel logistic regression analysis was conducted on cross-sectional data from the National Survey of Attitudes and Lifestyles of 9793 women residing in 646 postcode districts throughout the UK.
Women with lower levels of formal education were less likely to use contraception than women with higher education. Women in the middle and low social class groups were less likely to use contraception than women in the higher social class group. The association between social class and contraception use varied significantly across postcode districts. The contraception use of women in the lowest social class group varied the most geographically. Women in the lowest quintiles of disadvantage were less likely to use contraception than women in the most advantaged quintiles according to all three measures, namely central heating, car ownership, and residents in professional occupations.
The study concluded that although more information is needed to understand how area and individual socioeconomic characteristics are associated with contraceptive use, this study suggests that contraceptive use needs to be extended beyond individually targeted approaches and needs to consider socioeconomic determinants of contraceptive use.