CDC Contraception is a smartphone app that educates and guides contraceptive prescribing for patients with over 60 characteristics and medical conditions that may confer risk for adverse health outcomes with certain contraceptive methods such as hypertension, sickle cell disease, and tuberculosis. The information is in this app is derived from the US Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010 published in the MMWR.1
In a survey of 146 internal medicine residents and faculty at the University of Colorado published in 2014, more than 70% of respondents admitted to inadequate knowledge about contraceptive counseling and only a quarter provided contraceptive counseling routinely during preventive care visits.2
Use in Medical Education: Personalized Patient Decision Making Aid
Example of Curriculum Application:
CDC Contraception was presented at an interdisciplinary grand rounds as an app that should be commonly used by OBGYN and IM
residents at our institution. It is an app that could be reasonably included in curriculum for gynecology or ambulatory medicine rotations.
CDC Contraception: Overall Score: 35/45
Accessibility Score: 4/5
Free. No registration required. Available for the iPhone, iPad. Not available as an Android or web application. The reference documents are available on the CDC website. A printable pocket summary chart (updated in 2012) is available for free through the the CDC website.
Commercial Bias Score: 5/5
No commercial bias detected. CDC Contraception is published by the Redi-Reference, Inc. and promoted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on the CDC website.1 There is no advertising or in-app purchases.
Ease of Use Score: 3/5
The app has several tables with links to additional explanations. It is not completely intuitive, but once used a few times, it is simple to use. Link to source material did not work, so referring residents to source MMWR material would require use of a browser to get to the CDC website.
Quality of Images Score: 4/5
There are no images of contraceptive methods in this app. The text is legible and easy to scroll through.
Quality of Instruction Score: 4/5
This app addresses a knowledge gap among internal medicine residents and is based on extensive literature review and expert opinion endorsed by the CDC and WHO. It does not appear that the 2011 and 2012 updates to the original 2010 Medical Eligibility Criteria are included in the app.3, 4
Volume of Material/Likely Frequency of Use Score: 5/5
There is a large amount of educational material in this app that is not likely to be common knowledge for internal medicine physicians but is within their scope of care for moderately frequently encountered situations.
Assessment of Learning/Outcomes Score: 1/5
No ability for tracking or assessment. Education and knowledge assessment would be a useful adjunct to this app.
Stability of App Score: 5/5
This app appears to be stable.
Overall Score as a Useful App for Medical Training Score: 4/5
CDC Contraception provides baseline material as an excellent starting place for point-of-care instruction in a likely area of knowledge deficit for both internal medicine residents and faculty.2
Disclaimer: Ratings represent expert opinion only. AAIM does not endorse the use of any particular application. The AAIM E- Learning Committee recommends apps as supplements and not replacements to physician judgment in clinical settings and educator judgment in teaching settings.
- CDC. U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010. MMWR May 28, 2010/Vol. 59 and http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/UnintendedPregnancy/Contraception_Guidance.htm
- Dirksen RR1, Shulman B, Teal SB, Huebschmann AG. Contraceptive counseling by general internal medicine faculty and residents. J Women’s Health (Larchmt). 2014 Aug;23(8):707-13.
- CDC. Update to CDC’s U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010: Revised
Recommendations for the Use of Contraceptive Methods During the Postpartum Period. MMWR. 2011;
60(26):878–883. CDC has updated the recommendations for combined hormonal contraceptive use among postpartum women, on the basis of new scientific evidence.
- CDC. Update to CDC’s U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010: Revised Recommendations for the Use of Hormonal Contraception Among Women at High Risk for HIV or infected with HIV. MMWR 2012; 61(24); 449–452.