Although homeless women appear to be at notable risk of unintended pregnancy, insufficient attention has been paid to understanding their access to birth control services and the characteristics of homeless women who want birth control services. To address these research gaps, the authors analyzed data from a probability sample of 974 homeless women who were interviewed in shelters and meal programs in Los Angeles County. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that among those women who wanted birth control services during the past year, using these services was associated with fewer perceived barriers to health care, having a regular source of care, consistent use of contraception, and lower odds of alcohol dependence. Availability and cost barriers to birth control services must be reduced, and effective service linkages should be developed among providers of birth control services, substance abuse treatment and primary care.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.