142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

MHealth and safe-abortion: Improving information about and access to safe misoprostol abortions in Indonesia

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 4:45 PM - 5:00 PM

Caitlin Gerdts, MHS, PhD , Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, Oakland, CA
Inna Hudaya , Samsara, Indonesia
Elise Belusa, MPH , Advancing New Standards for Reproductive Health, University of California, San Francisco, Oakland, CA
Background: In recent years, mobile phones have rapidly evolved as tools for health promotion and disease prevention in low-resource settings. While mobile health (mHealth) projects have successfully demonstrated improvements in sexual and reproductive health outcomes, to date, no full-scale mHealth project exists for improving information, access, or outcomes for abortion. This study aims to facilitate the development of a prototype mHealth smartphone application to provide information about and increase access to safe-abortion in Indonesia. 

Methods: Between October, 2013 and January, 2014, fifteen in-depth interviews were conducted in collaboration with a safe-abortion hotline among Indonesian women ages 18 and older who had safely self-induced abortion using misoprostol.  Interviews explored four areas of interest: 1) Information needs about safe-abortion including questions and/or concerns about misoprostol 3) Individual mobile phone access and use patterns, comfort and literacy with mobile technologies, and 4) Desirable features of a safe-abortion mHealth smartphone application. IRB approval was granted by the UCSF committee on human research.

Results: Preliminary results suggest that a smartphone application providing information about safe-abortion would be desirable for women in Indonesia.   Suggested features include: instructions on protocol and administration of misoprostol for abortion, photographs and warnings about impostor misoprostol, reminders to take pills, information about normal side-effects, information about when to seek care, and geo-coded maps for local health facilities.

Discussion: Given the proliferation of smartphone use in Indonesia and elsewhere, there is great promise for mobile technology to empower women seeking safe-abortions with accurate information about, and improved access to, safe medical abortion.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify ways in which mobile technologies may bridge gaps in information and access to safe misoprostol and medication abortions, specifically in settings where abortion is legally restricted

Keyword(s): Abortion, International MCH

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an epidemiologist by training and am the principal investigator on the grant for which the data contained in this abstract were collected. I have over 9 years of experience working and designing studies in the field of reproductive health, safe abortion, and family planning.
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.