Date of Award

5-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Professional Communication

Advisor

Williams, Sean D

Committee Member

Haynes , Cynthia

Committee Member

Novak , David

Abstract

The Surgeon General recently issued a call to action to reduce the incidents of blood clots, which can cause pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, and stroke. This research study was conducted to assess what risk information is available to women regarding thrombosis (blood clots) and thrombophilia (clotting disorders) in combination with birth control pills, what women know about this issue, and how to increase this awareness. A media analysis showed that very little information is available to women about thrombosis and thrombophilia with regard to birth control pills. It also demonstrated that the information that is available is often inadequate or inaccurate.
The survey of women who have taken or are taking birth control pills showed a lack of awareness of the side effects of birth control pills, thrombophilia, thrombosis, or the symptoms of thrombosis. Most women taking this medication that increases their risk of blood clots are not even aware of the symptoms of blood clots. Additionally, only one woman out of 311 could correctly identify all of the health risks associated with birth control pills. The survey results also showed that the majority of women would not only be willing to take a blood test to determine if they have thrombophilia, but more than half would be willing to pay for it.
In order to reduce thrombosis, awareness of these conditions can be increased by pharmaceutical manufacturers taking a greater responsibility for producing easily understandable risk information. Also, health care providers and patients must communicate more effectively. At a minimum, testing should be offered to women, if not required, before prescribing birth control pills.

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