Family planning services in Devon, UK: Awareness, experience and attitudes of pregnant teenagers

V. A H Pearson*, M. R. Owen, D. R. Phillips, D. J. Pereira Gray, M. N. Marshall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


A survey of 167 pregnant teenagers in Devon attending either antenatal booking clinics or for NHS termination of pregnancy was carried out to determine their awareness and experience of, and attitudes to, family planning services in Devon. The majority (92 per cent) of teenagers admitted using contraceptives and contraceptive advice. Two thirds had become pregnant whilst using condoms as their method of contraception. General practitioners (GPs) were the principal providers of contraceptive advice, with twice as many teenagers (60 per cent) having seen a GP about contraception compared to family planning clinics (30 per cent). The majority of teenagers had received contraceptives from family planning clinics and GPs, and, overall, there was a high level of satisfaction with the service. Once accessible services for teenagers exist, there is still the need to deliver an acceptable and equitable service. Specific criticisms from teenagers included the need for assured confidentiality, improvements in approachability of staff and the quality of service offered, and, for family planning clinics, a need for improved privacy, and better advertising and accessibility. Teenagers' high awareness of, use of, and contact with, local services implies that the majority of cases of teenage pregnancy in this study resulted from risk-taking behaviour and errors in the use of contraceptives. Both service and non-service issues need to be addressed if there is to be a reduction in the incidence of teenage pregnancy in Devon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-49
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Family Planning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


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