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The PATH Framework

The PATH Framework

Created by Patty Cason, RN, MS, FNP-BC, the PATH Framework elicits a lot of information quickly to determine a client’s reproductive goals. This approach is useful in a clinical setting where time with clients is limited but centering the client’s experience is valued.

The PATH Framework is endorsed by the Reproductive Health National Training Center and has been utilized as part of a state-wide initiative in Utah and adopted as a best practice by the Health Department of Nashville, Tennessee and Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties.

The PATH Framework to contraceptive counseling means assessing a client for:

Parenting / Pregnancy Attitudes

Do you think you might like to have (more) children at some point?


When do you think that might be?


How important?

How important is it to you to prevent pregnancy (until then)?

The PATH Framework website offers a more in-depth exploration of use for providers wishing to learn more.

PATH follow up questions include:

  • "Since you have said_____ would you like to talk about ways to be prepared for a healthy pregnancy?"
  • "Do you have a sense of what’s important to you about your birth control?"
  • "How would that be for you?"
  • "Has that ever happened before?"
  • "How did you manage it?"

The PATH Framework in Practice

This video is a compilation of various situations and questions providers use when counseling clients using the PATH framework. Watch the PATH Framework in practice with this video compilation that includes commentary and instructions.

The video below has multiple scenarios and examples. It might be helpful to bookmark this page and come back to it as needed.

Tools for Clinic Staff

For providers and other clinic staff interested in adopting the PATH Framework the tools linked below are helpful, quick tools to assist in clinical implementation. 

The content on this page was last reviewed and updated in October 2023.

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