The Hawke's Bay Condom Card Scheme: a qualitative study of the views of service providers on increased, discreet access for youth to free condoms

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Abstract

Objectives

The incidence of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies in adolescence is of concern. The Hawke's Bay District Health Board, New Zealand, set up a pilot condom card scheme (‘the Scheme’) to allow 13- to 24-year-olds, deemed suitable for the Scheme, to access free condoms from pharmacies on presentation of a Condom Card. Our study explored the views of service providers of a pilot Condom Card Scheme.

Methods

Qualitative interviews were conducted with 17 service providers (nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy staff) between February and April 2013.

Key findings

Our findings showed that the Scheme was viewed positively by service providers, who indicated almost universal support for the Scheme to continue. However, participants noted a perceived lack of advertising, low number of sites for collection of condoms, lack of flexibility of the Scheme's criteria relating to who could access the scheme and issues with some pharmacy service providers, all of which led to a number of recommendations for improving the Scheme.

Conclusions

The views of service providers indicate broad support for the continuation of the Scheme. Canvassing young people's suggestions for improving the Scheme is also essential.

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