Online Program

Investigating the need for and identifying support systems for providers of second-trimester abortion services

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sarah P. Roberts, MPH, Ibis Reproductive Health, Cambridge, MA
Tara Shochet, PhD, MPH, Gynuity Health Projects, New York, NY
Amanda Dennis, DrPH, MBE, Ibis Reproductive Health, Cambridge, MA
Kelly Blanchard, MSc, Ibis Reproductive Health, Cambridge, MA
Jill Meadows, MD, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Des Moines, IA
The stigma and political polarization surrounding second-trimester abortion care creates unique challenges for clinical and other staff providing these services. Little research has addressed the characteristics and experiences of clinicians and staff that provide second-trimester (defined here as 14 weeks 0 days gestation or later) abortion services. We collected detailed information on providers' experiences with second-trimester abortion to identify strategies to support providers who offer these services. We conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with 14 participants and 2 key informants working at abortion clinics in Iowa and Nebraska. Participants were asked about their experiences providing abortion services, their roles and activities, experiences of stigma, job satisfaction, support systems, preferred strategies for coping with stress, and thoughts on improving abortion care for clients and providers. Interviews were thematically analyzed. Participants reported a range of roles including clinical, managerial, and administrative activities. They often perceived a lack of support for their work from extended family and community members, and described feelings of social isolation; challenges were related to providing abortion and not specific to second-trimester services. Participants expressed a desire for better mental health services as well as broader, interactive support systems in which to discuss and process their work. Data analysis will be completed by the time of the conference and we will report on full sample results. Creating and promoting better social support systems for second trimester abortion providers could improve their work experiences and quality of life, potentially increasing job satisfaction and retention which could improve women's access to abortion.

Learning Areas:

Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the barriers and facilitators providers of abortion care experience in offering second-trimester services. Identify strategies for improving social support and reducing social isolation and stress for providers of abortion care.

Keyword(s): Abortion, Providers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal investigator of multiple qualitative studies focused on abortion access and/or provision.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.