Telemedicine for medication abortion patient demographics 2019 versus 2022
Awarded 2023
Emerging Scholars in Family Planning
Zarina Wong, BA
Queens Medical Center

Background: Medication abortion provided via telehealth has greatly increased since the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth can increase access to health services for individuals who may face many barriers to coming in person, such as transportation, distance to a clinic, inability to take time off work or need for childcare. Studies have shown that direct-to-patient telemedicine abortion care is a safe, effective, and efficient method of abortion care. However, some communities face barriers to telehealth such as a lack of access to internet access, sufficient devices or a private space to host their visit. Additionally, we are unaware of potential disparities in uptake to utilize telehealth for their medical appointments. Few studies have described specific demographics in uptake, particularly among medication abortion patients.
Objectives: To describe the patient population accessing medication abortion during 2019 versus 2022 and evaluate if rate of telehealth uptake differed by patient demographics in 2019 compared to 2022
Methods: This is a retrospective chart review. We will review patient charts for all visits for medication abortion between March 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 and March 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022. Descriptive statistics will be used to summarize patient demographics. We will compare rates of uptake using chi-squared tests and regression analysis.
Conclusion: We hypothesize that there will be an overall increase in telehealth usage across all demographic categories between 2019 and 2022 but that the magnitude of increase in uptake will vary by demographic factors such as age, race, urbanicity, and history of abortion.