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Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners. 1984 Nov; 34(268):600-2.The immediate responses of physicians and patients to adverse publicity about the possibility of cancer among women using combined oral contraceptives (OCs) were studied in 2 separate locations: the main family planning clinic in the city of Aberdeen, and a provincial general practice of 10 doctors based in the Peterhead Health Centre. A press release was issued 1 day prior to publication of 2 articles in the Lancet of 22 October 1983, reporting possible risks of breast and cervical cancer in some patients on combined OCs. For the 20 workdays immediately after publication, the 16 participating doctors at both locations collected survey data on the ages of patients and outcomes of consultations for all patients who expressed concern about the OCs. In the family planning clinic, 207 consultations with clinic doctors were prompted by anxiety over the pill and accounted for 24.8% of the workload over the 20 days. In the practice, 73 women (7.8% of all the pill users) who attended over the 20 days expressed concern about OCs. The general practitioners reported lower than expected levels of patient response, whereas the family planning clinic required extra sessions to accomodate the temporary upsurge in demand. At each consultation, the doctor either changed the type of pill, changed the method of contraception, or offered reassurance only. At the family planning clinic and practice respectively, the 1st outcome choices were a change of pills for 58.5% and 39.7% of patients, a change of method for 14.0% and 2.7%, and reassurance only for 27.5% and 57.5%. The mean age of patients was 25.1 years at the family planning clinic and 25.6 years at the health center. This limited study suggests that the predicted "pill scare" did not occur at the Peterhead Health Centre, while in contrast the family planning clinic reported a marked increase in workload including inquiries from the press and local radio stations. Factors accounting for the general practitioners' more conservative responses to patients with pill-related anxiety may have included differences in the type of patient seen; the greater time constraints on the general practitioners, whose patients were booked at 6-minute intervals compared to 12-minute intervals in the clinic; or the continuity of care provided by the general practitioners.
London, England, Population Concern, 1984 May. 64 p.This publication highlights some of the major popular misconceptions of population. It is divided into 5 sections: 1) population growth; 2) United Kingdom 3) food; 4) family size; and 5) planned parenthood. Misconceptions of population growth include lack of concern about birth rates, and poverty. It is unreasonable to assume that social and economic development will automatically curb the high levels of population growth in less-developed countries. Population policy should be formulated and implemented as an integral part of socioeconomic planning. In discussing Britain's population misconceptions, chart is used to show the ratio of numbers of children and old people to the working age population. Population matters in Britain are often presented as if population and the national economy were Siamese twins. There is anxiety that if the population stops growing the nation will somehow stagnate. Charts present total food production in the UK and imports and exports. Food concerns include hunger and an unequal distribution of food. World food production is presented along with food losses, and available food divided by the population. Total food production figures are given for the US and Canada, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Africa, Latin America, the Near East, Far East, Asian centrally planned economics, USSR and Eastern Europe, less-developed countries, and more-developed countries. Concerns about family size include the relationship of poverty to large families, child labor, effects of family composition on reproductive behavior, and infant mortality. Many people believe that reduction of infant mortality automatically leads to reduction in family size. Certain groups feel that women do not want fertility control programs, and that unsafe methods of contraception are being pushed at them--chiefly by men. The monograph includes many photographs.
Some attitudes of black opinion leaders toward family planning and the National Family Planning Programme
Pretoria, South Africa, Human Sciences Research Council, Institute for Sociological and Demographic Research, 1984. x, 15 p. (RGN.HSRC Report no. S-107)The role that black opinion leaders in South Africa play in the area of family planning is examined, with the objective of establishing whether they can be used as agents of change in the National Family Planning Programme. The data concern 80 black opinion leaders and were obtained in interviews conducted in 1982. The results suggest that their attitude is positive, but that they have reservations concerning the political aspects of the government's role in the national program. (summary in AFR) (ANNOTATION)