Women’s Health Issues Commentary Calls AHRQ Fact Sheets Inadequate: Fact Sheets Leave Out Information on Contraceptive Services and Other Basics
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has released a series of fact sheets on “staying healthy” for four audiences: women of all ages, women ages 50+, men of all ages, and men ages 50+. An opinion piece published online December 11 in the journal Women’s Health Issues says the AHRQ fact sheets leave out important information on contraceptive services and other basics that are part of staying healthy.
The Commentary was authored by Adam Sonfield, a senior public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute. It appears in the January/February 2015 edition of Women’s Health Issues, the peer-reviewed journal of the Jacobs Institute for Women’s Health of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.
In “What AHRQ Forgets to Tell Americans About How to Protect Their Sexual and Reproductive Health,” Sonfield notes that “contraceptive services and supplies are glaringly absent from the AHRQ fact sheets.” This is despite the fact that consistent, correct use of contraception allows for pregnancy planning and prevention – which, in turn, has numerous maternal and child health benefits. Sonfield also notes the omission of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine from the fact sheets’ lists of recommended vaccinations, and the inclusion of only one recommendation (folic acid supplementation) related to healthy pregnancies.