4159.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - 1:00 PM

Abstract #7861

Differences in specialty, gender, and attitudes on physicians' willingness to prescribe mifepristone

Lisa J. Waldman, MD, Department of General Internal Medicine, Women's Health Fellowship, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston University School of Public Health, 720 Harrison Avenue, DOB 1108, Boston, MA 02118, (617)638-8152, waldman@bu.edu and Mark Moskowitz, MD, Chief, Department of General Internal Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston University School of Medicine, 720 Harrison Avenue, DOB 1108, Boston, MA 02118.

Background: Mifepristone (RU486) is an anti-progesterone agent that can be used as emergency contraception and to induce medical abortion in the first trimester. This medication has been widely available in Australia and France since the 1980’s. This medication may become accessible to women in the United States this year. Our study examines physicians’ characteristics such as specialty, gender, and knowledge, attitude and prescribing patterns of emergency contraception as they relate to the potential use of Mifepristone for medical abortion.

Objectives: This study assesses key differences in willingness to prescribe Mifepristone of physicians among 3 adult medicine specialties most likely to be confronted with the issue of medical abortion.

Methods: Our sample consists of 600 Massachusetts physicians, divided equally among three specialties: Internal Medicine, Family Medicine and Obstetrics/Gynecology. Subjects are mailed a 29-item survey, with questions regarding demographics, knowledge and experience with emergency contraception, and attitudes about the use of Mifepristone. Statistical analysis will be performed comparing the three groups, with the main outcome measure being willingness to prescribe Mifepristone. Power is anticipated to be 80% to determine a difference between the three specialties.

Results: This study is ongoing. Presentation of results will include differences among specialty, gender, religiosity, age, current practice of reproductive health, and use of emergency contraception in the willingness to prescribe Mifepristone. These differences will be important in understanding barriers in the dissemination of Mifepristone should it become available in the United States.

Learning Objectives: 1. Recognize the differences between medical specialties that will be important in prescribing Mifepristone for adult women. 2. Discover barriers to women's access to reproductive health care among physicians

Keywords: Abortion, Physicians

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: none
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA