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My Contraception Tool Press Release

Press Release

Release Date: 01-07-2010

World first in sexual health as ‘My Contraception Tool’ launched

Sexual health charities Brook and FPA today launched My Contraception Tool (v1.0) a unique, evidence-based web tool designed to support people’s contraceptive choices by evaluating their preferences and priorities as well as their physical needs. This new web tool is expected to fundamentally change contraceptive consultations – empowering people’s choice and giving invaluable support to busy health professionals.

Eighteen months in development, and launched simultaneously on both organisations’ websites, the tool combines specialist software1, research2, expertise in decision making3 and sexual health and months of user involvement and consultation. Using the latest research into every method of contraception, the circumstances, medical history and personal preferences are input by the user online. These data are then processed and each contraceptive method is ranked in order to suit individual needs.

Simon Blake, Brook’s National Director, said:

We wanted to help young people think about the kind of things they need to take into account when it comes to making contraceptive choices and this tool supports them in doing that. We hope it will give young people the confidence to have conversations with health professionals about the range of contraceptive choices available to them as well as beginning to understand the importance of making informed decisions.

Julie Bentley, chief executive of FPA, added:

There are many medical and lifestyle considerations to think about when choosing a contraceptive method. And everybody benefits from having the most up to date information at their fingertips. My Contraception Tool is quick and easy to use. It will open up the range of options to women of all ages and give health professionals another facility to use during contraceptive consultations.

The tool is designed for use by men and women of any age who want to use contraception and is linked to further information about each contraceptive method as well as a wealth of information on other aspects of sexual health.

People can log on to My Contraception Tool at www.brook.org.uk/mycontraceptiontool or www.fpa.org.uk/mycontraceptiontool

and answer questions about their lifestyle, medical history and their priorities in terms of contraception.

As the tool provides a hierarchy of methods based upon the preferences of the user the results can be printed and taken to help initiate conversations with a healthcare professional.

Health professionals can use the tool either by going through the surveys with people during consultations, talking through the options and discussing their advantages. Alternatively, the result sheet can be printed out by the person at home and used to form the basis of a contraceptive consultation.

My Contraception Tool is backed by some of the country’s leading professional health representative organisations.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing commented:

We are delighted to see Brook and FPA launch such an easy-to-use, invaluable resource which will quickly and easily help people to make informed decisions about their sexual health. It is important that people are aware of the wide range of choice there is about contraception so they can find a method which best suits their needs.

Dr Ewen Stewart from the Royal College of General Practitioners’ Sex, Drugs and HIV Group said:

Discussing sexuality and contraception with patients can sometimes be uncomfortable for healthcare professionals. My Contraception Tool acts as a conversation starter that will help GPs and Practice Nurses to discuss contraceptive choice, allowing people to make the right choice of method for themselves.

My Contraception Tool was developed by a team of specialists from Brook, FPA, Maldaba Ltd. (www.maldaba.co.uk), and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (www.lshtm.ac.uk).

Ends

For media enquiries please contact:

Brook’s press office:
Natalie Collyer, tel: 020 7284 6062 or email: . Mobile 07500 786 762
FPA’s press office:
Gerry Halliday, tel: 020 7608 5264 or email:
Rebecca Findlay, tel: 020 7608 5265 or email Mobile 07958 921060.

Notes to Editors

About FPA

The sexual health charity FPA provides straightforward information, advice and support to all people across the UK on all aspects of sexual health, sex and relationships. FPA educates, informs and supports people through our work in the community, our helpline and information service, our counselling service, our training and publications and our public awareness campaigns. www.fpa.org.uk

About Brook

Brook is the only national voluntary sector provider of free and confidential sexual health advice and services specifically for young people under 25.Brook is a registered charity, and has 45 years’ experience of providing professional advice through specially trained doctors, nurses, counsellors, and outreach and information workers to over 200,000 young people each year. www.brook.org.uk

1About Maldaba

Maldaba Ltd. (www.maldaba.co.uk) is a software company specialising in web applications for health research. The majority of its business is with not-for-profit healthcare organisations, including Brook, FPA, University College London, the Institute of Child Health, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the University of Sydney, Australia.

My Contraception Tool is built using two pieces of proprietary software developed by Maldaba. Annalisa (www.annalisa.org.uk) is a multi-criteria decision aid (MCDA) with a single screen interface that allows the user to create and explore decision-making scenarios. Elicia (www.maldaba.co.uk/elicia) is a general-purpose web-based questionnaire builder.

Embedding Annalisa within Elicia provides a powerful combination that allows the decision-making process to be personalised according to questionnaire responses. Annalisa was developed in collaboration with (and is jointly owned by) Professor Jack Dowie, whilst Elicia is wholly owned by Maldaba Ltd.

For more information, contact Lorenzo Gordon on 07866 462 710, or e-mail

2 About Rebecca French, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dr Rebecca French is a Senior Lecturer in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research within the Department of Social and Environmental Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Her main research interests are in contraceptive use and decision-making and sexual health service delivery. She is responsible for the content of My Contraception Tool, including collation of the underlying evidence base. She can be contacted via email,

3 About Jack Dowie

Jack Dowie is Professor Emeritus of Health Impact Analysis at the London School of hygiene and Tropical Medicine and is responsible for the conceptual and theoretical basis of My Contraception Tool. He is an independent consultant in Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis and hosts a website based on Annalisa (http://www.cafeannalisa.org.uk). He can be contacted at