Context Family planning services are essential for reducing high rates of unintended pregnancies among young people, yet a perception that providers will not preserve confidentiality may deter youth from accessing these services. This systematic review, conducted in 2011, summarizes the evidence on the effect of assuring confidentiality in family planning services to young people on reproductive health outcomes. The review was used to inform national recommendations on providing quality family planning services. Evidence acquisition Multiple databases were searched to identify articles addressing confidentiality in family planning services to youth aged 10-24 years. Included studies were published from January 1985 through February 2011. Studies conducted outside the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, or New Zealand, and those that focused exclusively on HIV or sexually transmitted diseases, were excluded. Evidence synthesis The search strategy identified 19,332 articles, nine of which met the inclusion criteria. Four studies examined outcomes. Examined outcomes included use of clinical services and intention to use services. Of the four outcome studies, three found a positive association between assurance of confidentiality and at least one outcome of interest. Five studies provided information on youth perspectives and underscored the idea that young people greatly value confidentiality when receiving family planning services. Conclusions This review demonstrates that there is limited research examining whether confidentiality in family planning services to young people affects reproductive health outcomes. A robust research agenda is needed, given the importance young people place on confidentiality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health