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Providing Quality Family Planning Services Recommendations for Primary Care Providers

In April 2014, Providing Quality Family Planning Services: Recommendations from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Office of Population Affairs (QFP) was published as a CDC MMWR Recommendations and Reports. The QFP provide recommendations for use by all reproductive health and primary care providers with patients who are in need of services related to preventing or for achieving pregnancy.

QFP answers the questions, "What services should be offered to a client who is in need of family planning, and how should those services be provided?" It does this by drawing on existing clinical recommendations and by filling gaps where they existed -- such as in how to provide contraceptive counseling, serve male clients, and address the special needs of adolescent clients.

Developed jointly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the HHS Office of Population Affairs (OPA), the Providing Quality Family Planning Services (QFP) recommendations:

  • Define services to offer in a family planning visit and describe how to provide those services—for women and men
  • Are designed for use with patients who need services related to preventing or achieving pregnancy
  • Are based on a rigorous, systematic, transparent review of the evidence and with input from a broad range of clinical experts, OPA and CDC
  • Encourage use of the family planning visit to provide other essential preventive health services such as breast and cervical cancer screening
  • Include a special section on serving the unique needs of adolescents

The QFP recommendations support all primary care providers in delivering quality family planning services and define family planning services within a broader context of preventive services, to improve health outcomes for women, men and their (future) children.


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In QFP, family planning services are embedded within a broader framework of preventive health services.

The Clinical Pathway describes the myriad steps and considerations of family planning services for women and men of reproductive age.

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QFP lays out a clinical pathway of family planning services delivery for women and men of reproductive age both for the reproductive health and the primary care settings. Source: MMWR, April 25, 2014.

The recommendations are designed to help men and women achieve their desired number and spacing of healthy children.

QFP Development

The QFP was developed using a rigorous process consistent with procedures recommended by the Institute of Medicine the US Preventive Services Task Force and international organizations. These procedures emphasize the involvement of external experts, the use of evidence to the extent possible, and transparency in the process of developing the recommendations. The evidence used to prepare the QFP recommendations will be published separately.

"The QFP draw on the best evidence to guide the delivery of the best care," Susan B. Moskosky, Acting Director, Office of Population Affairs

The Quality Family Planning Recommendations (QFP) integrate & fill gaps in other guidelines such as Preconception Guidelines, STD and HIV Guidelines, Contraception Guidelines, and Achieving Pregnancy Guidelines.

QFP integrates and fills gaps in existing guidelines for the family planning settings.

Updates to QFP

QFP integrates and fills gaps in existing guidelines for the family planning settings. QFP references numerous other clinical guidelines that are published by federal agencies, as well as guidelines released by professional medical associations. Since these guidelines are updated on a frequent basis, CDC and OPA will compile updates regularly.


Providing Quality Family Planning Services Recommendations

Why is QFP needed?

The U.S. continues to face significant challenges in improving the reproductive health of all Americans:

  • Nearly half (49%) of all pregnancies are unintended.
  • The US has one of the highest adolescent pregnancy rates in the developed world. More than 700,000 adolescents (15-19 years) become pregnant each year and more than 300,000 give birth.
  • Approximately 1 in 8 pregnancies results in a preterm birth and infant mortality rates remain high compared with other developed countries.
  • Moreover, all of these outcomes disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minorities.

High quality family planning education, counseling and clinical services help to reduce unintended pregnancy and improve reproductive health and birth outcomes.

The Revised Title X Program Guidelines: NFPHRA Plenary Presentation

The Family Planning National Training Centers will be the key resource for job aids, free training webinars and other resources to support health care providers interested in QFP implementation.

Providing Quality Family Planning Services MMWR & CE Credit

One Page QFP Overview

Dear Colleague letter introducing QFP