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[Access to health care for an induced abortion: qualitative and quantitative approaches]

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Despite recent studies showing evidence that the organisation of the French health care system raises some problems concerning access to abortion, far little is known on the reality of access conditions and the views of women on the difficulties they experience when they attend an abortion clinic. In this article, we discuss the complementarity of materials from two surveys one qualitative, the other quantitative in the study of patterns of care for an abortion. METHODS: The qualitative survey included 51 women who reported a history of induced abortion, selected from a qualitative study on unintended pregnancy in France. The quantitative survey included 480 women, who had an abortion in the past 10 years. These women were selected from a representative sample of 2863 women aged 18 to 44, who participated in a study on contraception and abortion. RESULTS: The variety of patterns of care for an abortion, the rareness of dysfunctions in the health care system and the importance of the first professional women contacted, demonstrated in the qualitative survey, were confirmed in the quantitative survey. The quantitative survey enabled quantifying the distribution of the different patterns of care. It also permitted to identify factors associated with the choice of first professional contacted and with the type of subsequent patterns of care. The qualitative survey permitted to explore these patterns of care and to highlight the interaction between the women's request and the representation of the legitimacy of their request. Difficulties of access seemed to be linked to the lack of support women experienced in the process of finding an abortion clinic. Results suggest that general practitioners are less well informed of the procedures required for an abortion than other professionals. However, the qualitative survey also shows that problems of access cannot be reduced to the lack of information of professionals, as their practice was also linked to their own representation of abortion, and their perception of the legitimacy of the women's request. CONCLUSION: Our results underline the need for the definition of a clear health policy that should include two priorities: the improvement of the visibility of health care supply for an abortion and the promotion of information delivered to health care professionals.
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Contributor : Nadine Kaniewski <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - 4:19:36 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 11:08:22 AM


  • HAL Id : inserm-00086421, version 1
  • PUBMED : 14967996


Nathalie Bajos, Caroline Moreau, Michèle Ferrand, Jean Bouyer. [Access to health care for an induced abortion: qualitative and quantitative approaches]. Epidemiology and Public Health / Revue d'Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique, Elsevier Masson, 2003, 51, pp.631-47. ⟨inserm-00086421⟩



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