This trial aimed to evaluate effects of structured contraceptive counselling among non-migrants, foreign-born migrants and second-generation migrants.
A cluster randomised controlled trial was conducted in 2017–2019 at abortion, youth and maternal health clinics in Stockholm, Sweden (the LOWE trial). Patients were eligible if they were 18 years or older, could understand Swedish or English (or if assisted by an interpreter), were sexually active or planning to be, and were seeking contraception for pregnancy prevention. We randomised clinics at a 1:1 allocation ratio to give either structured contraceptive counselling (intervention) or to maintain standard contraceptive counselling (control). Blinding was not deemed feasibile. A study-specific package for structured contraceptive counselling was used and comprised an educational video, an effectiveness chart, four key questions and a box with contraceptive models. Outcomes were effects of the intervention on long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) choice, initiation and use, and satisfaction with the intervention material among the participants.
We involved 14 clinics in each of the intervention and control groups, respectively. A total of 1295 participants were included: 1010 non-migrants, 169 foreign-born migrants and 116 second-generation migrants. Participants in the intervention group chose LARC to a higher extent than the control group (adjusted OR (aOR) 2.85, 95% CI 2.04–3.99), had higher LARC initiation rates (aOR 2.90, 95% CI 1.97 to 4.27) and higher LARC use within the 12-month follow-up period (aOR 2.09, 95% CI 1.47 to 2.96). The majority of the participants who received the intervention package found all the different parts to be supportive in contraceptive choice. The effectiveness chart was the only part of the package that a higher proportion of foreign-born migrants (58/84, 69%) and second-generation migrants (40/54, 74.1%) found supportive in contraceptive choice compared to non-migrants (259/434, 59.7%) (p = 0.048).
Structured contraceptive counselling increased LARC choice, initiation and use, controlled for participants’ migration background. The effectiveness chart was found to be significantly more supportive among foreign-born migrants and second-generation migrants compared to non-migrants when choosing contraceptive methods.