Date of Award


Document Type



College of Nursing

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Project Mentor

Bonnie H Bowie


Ambera Dedic



The aims for this project were to evaluate the quality of electronic decision aids (DAs) for birth control using the International Patient Decision Aids Standards quality criteria checklist and to query primary care providers on current practices around their use of decision aids to assist patients when choosing a method of birth control.


Since the advent of the internet in the early 2000s and subsequent increase in electronic dissemination of DAs, there has been international awareness highlighting the lack of quality control with their content. This is significant because DAs that provide information on methods of birth control can influence a woman's decision when it comes to reproductive decision making. If the content is of poor quality, then the woman may not be making a well-informed decision when it comes to choosing a birth control.


First aim: DAs were identified using an online search of published literature through PubMed, google search, iTunes store, and google play store. DAs were evaluated using the International Patient Decision Aids Standards (IPDAS) quality criteria checklist. 7 DAs met the inclusion criteria. Second aim: Primary Care providers were queried around utilization of DAs in practice via an email survey. All providers held an active license and were currently practicing in Primary Care in Washington State. Results were summarized using charts in a presentation format.


First aim: There was significant variability among the quality scores of the DAs. Interestingly, more common sources of health information such as the Centers for Disease Control and Mayo Clinic were some of the poorest performers. was the best performing DA and scored the highest on the IPDAS checklist. In addition, websites that focus exclusively on family planning have more comprehensive and high-quality information. Second aim: Six providers provided responses to survey questions. All providers reported using electronic sources to educate women on birth control options during visits and agreed DAs were useful tools. Time was reported as the biggest barrier to using DAs during a patient visit.


Our evaluation supports the need to establish international quality criteria for DA developers. Providers reported DAs are useful tools to use during a visit to discuss contraception.