Contraceptive knowledge and use among low-income Hispanic immigrant women and non-Hispanic women

Academic Article


  • Background: With the rising influx of Hispanics to the United States, there is an ongoing need to promote health and wellness care to this non-English-speaking, minority population group. Programs, specifically developed to address the unique cultural mores of Hispanics, need to focus on increasing knowledge about health issues, particularly in the area of reproductive health. A study was conducted in Memphis, TN, to examine the differences between low-income Hispanic immigrants' and low-income non-Hispanics' (1) contraceptive use; (2) reproduction and contraception knowledge; as well as (3) the demographic and knowledge factors associated with their choice of contraceptive, in order to better formulate successful educational programs for area Hispanics. Study Design: A cross-sectional survey of 226 women, recruited through a federal assistance program in Tennessee, was performed over a 5-month period in 2000 to 2001. Women, between the ages of 18 and 42, were individually interviewed to learn more about their reproduction knowledge and method of contraception. Results: This study found that knowledge about reproduction and contraceptive use was significantly lower among Hispanics than non-Hispanics. Furthermore, contraceptive use was significantly lower among Hispanics than among non-Hispanics. Hispanics were less likely to use the oral contraceptive or have a tubal ligation, preferring injectable contraceptive. Non-Hispanics, who were more likely to use contraceptive methods, were less likely to use injectables, preferring the oral contraceptive. Among Hispanics, knowledge about contraceptives, number of children and marital status were associated with contraceptive use. Among non-Hispanics, only education was associated with contraceptive use. Conclusion: Interventions targeting Hispanic immigrants should be developed to increase their knowledge about contraceptive methods. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

  • Contraception  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Garcés-Palacio IC; Altarac M; Scarinci IC
  • Start Page

  • 270
  • End Page

  • 275
  • Volume

  • 77
  • Issue

  • 4