(334) 844-3299
Detailed Record
Share this Article

Influence of “Decide + Be Ready” contraceptive decision aid on pre-deployment health decisions

APA Citation:

Wilcox, S. A., Witkop, C. T., & Thagard, A. S. (2022). Influence of “Decide + Be Ready” contraceptive decision aid on pre-deployment health decisions. Military Medicine, usac368. https://doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usac368

Abstract Created by REACH:

This study examined how the Decide + Be Ready app influenced women Sailors’ knowledge of and decisions about contraception. 20 women Sailors spent 10-15 minutes reviewing the app’s educational modules (e.g., contraceptive options, considerations for women Service members). The women were then interviewed about what they learned from the app, their knowledge of contraception, and the challenges they faced while deployed. Overall, 3 themes were identified. Specifically, this app was perceived to be an empowering tool for women to gain more confidence and knowledge about their contraceptive choices.


Physical health

Branch of Service:


Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Active duty service member


Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)


Qualitative Study


Wilcox, Shelby A., Witkop, Catherine T., Thagard, Andrew S.


The number of active duty servicewomen and the career opportunities available to them continue to increase. Of the approximately 350,000 women in uniform, 97% are estimated to be of reproductive age, underscoring the importance of reproductive health care. This study aimed to explore the influence of the Decide + Be Ready (DABR) contraceptive decision aid on providing contraceptive knowledge, facilitating a servicewoman’s contraceptive choice before and during deployment, and enabling understanding of individual preferences around contraception in a population of active duty women most at risk for unintended pregnancy.We conducted a qualitative study, recruiting active duty women between the ages of 17 and 24 with at least one prior deployment who were stationed at Naval Station Norfolk and presented for evaluation at a primary care clinic. Participants downloaded and reviewed the DABR application. A semi-structured interview was conducted and audio-recorded. Interviews were transcribed and underwent thematic analysis.Twenty women participated in the study over 2 weeks. Analysis revealed three overarching themes: perceived utility of and attitudes toward DABR, knowledge of and comfort with contraceptive options, and challenges specific to active duty women. In total, eight subthemes were also identified and explored.The DABR app provided study participants with new information about contraception. Participants reported improved knowledge of gynecologic and reproductive health options available during deployment. Other findings raise interest for future studies exploring incorporation of peer validation in counseling and decision-making tools, challenges with the deployed environment for obstetric/gynecologic health, and medical support on naval deployments.

Publication Type:

REACH Publication


contraceptive use, pre-deployment health, Decide + Be Ready

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  April 2023

This website uses cookies to improve the browsing experience of our users. Please review Auburn University’s Privacy Statement for more information. Accept & Close