Pharmacist provision of medication abortion: Toolkit development and pilot
Awarded 2021
Complex Family Planning Fellowship Research
Selina Sandoval, MD
University of California, San Diego

We plan to perform a multi-phase project, using implementation science methodologies, to explore pharmacist provision of medication abortion. We will perform an online survey, followed by semi-structured interviews with pharmacists currently prescribing contraception to identify barriers and facilitators to pharmacist provision of medication abortion. The survey and interviews will explore feasibility, acceptability and appropriateness of medication abortion by pharmacists as well as pharmacists’ attitudes towards providing medication abortion.

We will then adapt an implementation toolkit to support pharmacist provision of medication abortion. The adaptations will be informed by the interviews and refined using multi-level collaborator engagement. Our collaborators will include pharmacists and experts in family planning. The toolkit will be developed using an iterative approach to elicit feedback and refine the materials which will include training guides, a counseling curriculum, checklists, process maps, and patient education materials.

We will then conduct a pilot study among 2 pharmacists providing start to finish medication abortions to 10 patients following a “no test ” protocol and utilizing the toolkit created. Finally, we will perform in-depth semi-structured interviews with the participating patients and pharmacists to understand their experiences with pharmacist provision of medication abortion and to identify ways to refine the toolkit to support the scale up of pharmacist provision of medication abortion in the future. Pharmacist provision of medication abortion could increase access to abortion care, especially in U.S. counties without abortion providers.