INNOVATION FUND Innovation, Integration, & Implementation Women and Children SHOWCASE 2016 INNOVATION FUND Innovation, Integration, & Implementation Women and Children SHOWCASE 2016

Development and pilot evaluation of an interactive mobile website to support decision-making for emergency contraception

Women and Children


Sheila Dunn
Women’s College AFP Governance Organization; WCH; University of Toronto


1)  We used focus groups of young women to co-design a mobile website,, that presents easy-to-navigate, accurate information about all methods of emergency contraception with a Toronto clinic finder to access these methods.

2)  We are promoting the website at clinics and pharmacies where women may need this information.

3)  By creating linkages to geographically grouped Ontario reproductive health resources the website could be a valuable, user-friendly resource for women across the province who need emergency contraception.


Background:  Three methods of emergency contraception (EC) are available in Canada: two types of EC pills used up to 5 days, and insertion of a copper IUD up to 7 days after intercourse. Although the copper IUD is the most effective method, women are unfamiliar with it.   The website was developed to address this knowledge gap.

Methods:  Website content and design were targeted to the most frequent EC users – young women.  Content was based on current evidence.  We held 2 focus groups with young women recruited through postings in coffee shops to get their input on essential content, language and design of the website. Members of the second focus group also worked with the design team to co-create the website design.  It launched in March 2016, with promotion through Women’s College Hospital.  Promotion to health clinics and pharmacies will begin in May 2016.  We are using pop-up questions to collect data on how users learn about the site and whether it provides needed information.  Data on website traffic is being collected using Google informatics.

Results:  Focus group participants wanted information on effectiveness, cost, side effects, safety, access and after-care, delivered in a reassuring non-judgmental tone.  Ensuring privacy of users was seen as important.  Inclusion of quizzes and knowledge questions was not favoured.  A website was viewed as trustworthy if connected with a hospital or health-care organization, but not with a pharmaceutical company.  We will present results of website traffic and user responses to pop-up questions over the first 6 months of activity.

Conclusion:  Study results will provide evidence for the impact and potential of a user-designed mobile website to improve knowledge and access to all methods of emergency contraception.

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