Pro-voice: Women’s and health professionals’ priorities for communication and decision support about early abortion methods
Awarded 2016
Trainee Grants
Kyla Donnelly, MPH
Dartmouth College

Background: Patient-centered communication about medical and surgical early abortion methods is central to women’s satisfaction with their abortion care experience. Indeed, women value its core principles—receiving quality information, establishing rapport with health professionals, and expressing their preferences—when making decisions about early abortion methods. Yet, in a time of growing inaccessibility to abortion services, biased resources, and knowledge gaps among health professionals, it is unclear if women experience this process. Therefore, it is important to assess women’s experience of patient-centered communication, receipt of preferred method, and women’s and health professionals’ information priorities for decision-making about early abortion methods. Methods and Analysis: We will conduct two online surveys. The first will include a nationally representative sample of 600 past (n=400) and prospective (n=200) users of abortion services, and the second will include 200 health professionals from across the abortion care continuum. The surveys will measure, where relevant, patient-centered communication about early abortion methods, receipt of preferred method (and the reasons why not), and both women’s and health professionals’ information priorities. We will use descriptive statistics to assess these outcomes and multiple logistic regression to identify what characteristics predict the highest quality patient- centered communication. Conclusion: This study will produce nationally representative data describing patient-centered communication about medical and surgical early abortion, and both women’s and health professionals’ information priorities for improving this process. The results will improve our understanding of how to integrate more patient-centered and evidence-based counseling practices and resources about early abortion methods in routine clinical care.