This study was done to present the theory of change underpinning an intervention to provide online contraceptive care in an inner London area with high rates of an unplanned pregnancy. The main purpose was to suggest attributes of effective service and to identify key questions for its evaluation.
Stakeholders were of the view that perceptions of convenience and anonymity of online access would differ across the target population. They emphasized the importance of trusting service-users’ capabilities for autonomous contraceptive decision-making but expressed concerns that online access could be detrimental for those requiring more complex care and proper guidance. Concerns were alleviated when the online service was positioned as part of a broader system of provision including physical services.
This study concluded through its findings that the priority areas for the ongoing development of an online contraception service and pertinent evaluation questions. Evaluative research should test assumptions within the theory of change model, exploring the characteristics and circumstances of those preferring online access over existing services and the value of convenience, anonymity, autonomous access, and responsive support in executing effective contraceptive choices within a new landscape of contraceptive delivery.