Reproductive Health| Volume 33, ISSUE 1, P36-44, January 2023

Are Illinois Contraceptive Providers Comfortable Providing Care to Adolescents? Results From a Statewide Provider Needs Assessment

Published:August 09, 2022DOI:



      Legislation allows adolescents to access comprehensive contraceptive care; however, provider practices remain unclear. We examined predictors of provider knowledge and comfort surrounding the provision of contraceptive care to adolescents.


      We mailed a survey to Illinois contraceptive providers (n = 251). Study outcomes include 1) knowledge of adolescent consent laws, 2) comfort asking for time alone with adolescents, 3) comfort providing contraception to adolescents without parental consent, and 4) comfort providing long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) to adolescents without parental consent. Using multivariable logistic regression, we estimated adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).


      Most providers are knowledgeable of consent laws (90%) and report being comfortable asking for time alone with adolescents (94%) and comfortable providing contraception to adolescents without parental consent (88%). Having a large proportion of patients who are eligible for family planning services was associated with increased comfort asking for time alone with adolescents (aOR, 7.03; 95% CI, 1.58–31.3) and providing contraception to adolescents (aOR, 4.0; 95% CI, 1.4–11.1). Only one-half (54%) were comfortable providing LARC methods to adolescents, with higher comfort among providers who: received more than 2 days of formal family planning training (aOR, 2.77; 95% CI, 1.2–6.2), specialized in obstetrics-gynecology (aOR, 5.64; 95% CI, 2.1–15.1), and had a patient population with more than 50% patients from minoritized racial/ethnic groups (aOR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.2–6.6).


      Although knowledge of consent laws was high, gaps remain. Only one-half of our sample indicated comfort with the provision of LARC methods without parental consent. Additional efforts to increase provider comfort with all contraceptive methods and training on adolescent-centered practices may be required to meet the needs of adolescent patients.
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      Amy L. Moore, MSc, is the Director of Research Implementation at Ci3 at the University of Chicago. Her work focuses on increasing access to reproductive health care.


      Lee Hasselbacher, JD, is a Research Assistant Professor at Ci3 at the University of Chicago. Her policy-related research covers topics such as access to contraception and abortion, health care reform, religious refusals in health care, and consent and confidentiality for young people.


      Crystal P. Tyler, PhD, MPH, is the Executive Director of Ci3 at the University of Chicago who has extensive expertise in maternal and reproductive health.


      Anthony E. Rodriguez-Ortiz, BA, is a researcher in sexual and reproductive health with expertise in public policy and quantitative analyses.


      Melissa Gilliam, MD, MPH, is the founder of Ci3 at the University of Chicago and has extensive expertise in adolescent sexual and reproductive health care.