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Information about ongoing health services research and public health projects
|Assessing sexual and reproductive health access in Utah during the COVID-19 pandemic|
|Investigator (PI):||Simmons, Rebecca G|
|Performing Organization (PO):||
(Current): University of Utah, School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology / (801) 581-7647
|Supporting Agency (SA):||University of Utah Health, Immunology, Inflammation, and Infectious Disease (3i) Initiative || University of Utah, Office of Vice President for Research|
|Record Source/Award ID:||HSR/0|
|Abstract:||The majority of sexual and reproductive health products and services, from contraception to prenatal care and birth, are traditionally provided through the health care system and in-person provider touchpoints. Though recent changes in laws have increased the proportion of people who can receive services through telehealth, mail-order drug dispensing, pharmacy dispensing, or other non-clinical approaches, these systems and approaches are still in their infancy. Thus, in circumstances like the current COVID-19 pandemic, where the health system is limiting and restricting health care provision, sexual and reproductive health care are among those services that are being reduced. Additionally, the economic instability caused by the pandemic has increased the financial strain on people who are in need of these services during times of public health crisis more than ever. Many people can no longer afford or access care, but simultaneously also need to avoid unwanted pregnancy, have safe and healthy pregnancies, and access emergency reproductive services. This longitudinal study will assess how people's access to sexual and reproductive health products and services changes over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in Utah. These data will inform future sexual and reproductive health care should this crisis extend in time and for future public health emergencies. By assessing barriers and facilitators to access over a six-month timeframe, we will be able to capture how access changes in response to the continuing development of the pandemic in Utah. Studies assessing sexual and reproductive access barriers during a global pandemic are novel and to our knowledge, this study is the first to examine this topic in this state and region. This information can provide vital data to support future emergency planning, as well as support new sexual and reproductive health (SRH) policy recommendations (e.g., new prescribing/dispensing policies) and clinical interventions (e.g., emergency telehealth for SRH services).|