Knowledge about various contraceptive methods in young women with and without eating disorders

Caitlin W. Hicks, Samantha Demarsh, Harjoat Singh, Laura A. Gillespie, Sarah Worley, Ellen S. Rome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine if young women with eating disorders (EDs) have altered views about the risks/benefits of different forms of birth control than the general population. Method: Data was collected using a cross-sectional, survey-based study of postmenarchal women aged 13-25 years with a diagnosed ED (n = 50) or no history of disordered eating patterns (n =57). Results: Despite having a higher level of education (p = 0.04) and no differences in sexual history (p = 0.16), ED patients were less knowledgeable than controls about the health risks and benefits, effectiveness in preventing HIV, and effectiveness in preventing pregnancy of various methods of birth control (p≤ 0.05). Discussion: ED patients may be incorrectly presumed to be asexual while working on recovery; physicians may need to take extra time to educate ED patients about their personal risks of unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and the benefits that different methods of contraception can provide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-176
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescents
  • contraception
  • eating disorder
  • education
  • knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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