To determine pharmacy students' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding emergency contraception.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted among a convenience sample of students prior to a regular class period. The 16-item survey instrument included both multiple-choice and true/false questions to assess knowledge and Likert-type scale questions regarding attitudes and behaviors. Frequency and descriptive statistics were calculated for all variables.
Three hundred one pharmacy students were surveyed. Eighty-seven percent knew that Plan B had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for nonprescription use, yet 33% believed that it worked by disrupting a newly implanted ovum. On a scale from 1-5 on which 5 = strongly agree, the mean item score was 1.5 for whether nonprescription emergency contraception should be available without counseling by a pharmacist, yet only 26.7% believed they were competent instructing patients on the use of emergency contraception.
Additional education is needed to prepare pharmacy students to provide informed pharmaceutical care to patients seeking emergency contraception, especially given the passage of legislation making the pharmacy the point of access for some emergency contraception products.
Keywords: emergency contraception, Plan B, attitudes, ethics, curriculum