Leveraging family medicine’s core values to increase access to medication abortion in the US
Awarded December 2019
Christine Dehlendorf, MD, MAS
University of California, San Francisco
$594,063

Background: While mifepristone has the potential to expand abortion access in the US through integration into primary care, initial expectations for provision by family physicians have not been realized. Research indicates that physician motivation to provide medication abortion is an important factor in overcoming logistical and organizational barriers to abortion provision.

Methods: For this project, we will develop communication strategies to motivate family physicians to provide medication abortion drawing upon the core values of family medicine related to care across the lifecourse. We will first conduct interviews with approximately 60 family physicians, focusing on early career physicians in settings with low access to abortion, to assess their perspectives on the relationship between the core values of family medicine and the provision of medication abortion, and explore potential mechanisms to draw on these values to increase medication abortion provision.

Proposed analysis: We will conduct iterative content analysis of interview data and use emergent themes to inform the development of communication strategies. We will then conduct four focus groups and 20 cognitive interviews with family physicians to evaluate these strategies. The final product will be a refined set of communication strategies intended to motivate medication abortion provision among family physicians, which will be disseminated through academic and advocacy channels.