Putting the power in patients’ hands: Person-centered abortion care and clinical health outcomes for no-test telemedicine and clinic-based medication abortion in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Awarded 2021
Innovations in medication abortion service delivery
May Sudhinaraset, PhD
University of California, Los Angeles

In Spring 2020 amidst the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, UCLA Health implemented a no-test telemedicine abortion (NTTA) model of care, wherein women could access a medication abortion without an ultrasound or in-person clinic visit. Utilizing the strengths of our multi-disciplinary team, the proposed mixed-methods project seeks to examine potential differences between NTTA and clinic-based medication abortion (CBMA) with respect to safety and efficacy, as well as women’s experiences of care. First, we will use retrospective and prospective electronic health record data (2020-21) to examine potential differences in efficacy, safety, and health outcomes between NTTA and CBMA. Second, we will adapt the internationally-developed Person-Centered Abortion Care (PCAC) scale, a 24-item measure assessing ten domains of person-centered abortion care, to the U.S. context. Following item generation, expert review, and cognitive interviews, we will develop and administer a patient survey to 100 women who have received an NTTA and 200 women who received CBMA to assess potential differences in women’s abortion care experiences between the two modalities. Given increasing restrictions surrounding the provision of abortion and persistent inequities in access to abortion care, it is important for women to have increased access to new abortion care modalities like NTTA. Equally as important is ensuring health care providers in the US feel comfortable offering NTTA. By providing data on the clinical outcomes and the patient-centered experiences, this study will evaluate if NTTA is a safe, effective, and person-centered abortion option that should be implemented as part of standard practice.