Background: Clinicians and women of reproductive age would benefit from a reliable way to identify who is likely to become pregnant in the next year, in order to direct health advice. The 14-item Desire to Avoid Pregnancy (DAP) scale is predictive of pregnancy; this paper compares it with other ways of assessing pregnancy preferences to shortlist options for clinical implementation. Methods: A cohort of 994 UK women of reproductive age completed the DAP and other questions about pregnancy preferences, including the Attitude towards Potential Pregnancy Scale (APPS), at baseline and reported on pregnancies quarterly for a year. For each question, DAP item and combinations of DAP items, we examined the predictive ability, sensitivity, specificity, area under the receiver operating curve (AUROC), and positive and negative predictive values. Results: The AUROCs and predictive ability of the APPS and DAP single items were weaker than the full DAP, though all except one had acceptable AUROCs (>0.7). The most predictive individual DAP item was ‘It would be a good thing for me if I became pregnant in the next 3 months’, where women who strongly agreed had a 66.7% chance of pregnancy within 12 months and the AUROC was acceptable (0.77). Conclusion: We recommend exploring the acceptability to women and healthcare professionals of asking a single DAP item (‘It would be a good thing for me if I became pregnant in the next 3 months’), possibly in combination with additional DAP items. This will help to guide service provision to support reproductive preferences.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Jan 2023|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The study was funded by an NIHR Advanced Fellowship held by JH (PDF-2017-10-021).
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.
- Original research
- family planning services
- Reproductive Health
- Reproductive Health Services