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The knowledge, attitudes, & practices of Mexican health care providers in relation to abortion

Dilys Walker, Instituto Nacional se Salud Publica, 2009
See also executive summary.

Project abstract

Background: In April 2007, landmark legislation decriminalized first trimester abortion in Mexico City. This political shift is promising as abortion is generally safer when it is legal. However, only openly accessible services will effectively decrease unsafe abortion. Little is known about Mexican physicians’ current knowledge, attitudes and practices in relation to abortion provision. Additionally, the impact of legalization on abortion provision in Mexico City remains unknown. The practices and perspectives of women’s health care providers in Mexico must be understood to propose effective steps for increasing access to safe abortion.

Specific aims: 1) To describe the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAPs) of Mexican women’s health care providers in relation to medical and surgical abortion, 2) to compare the KAPs of providers in Mexico City with those of providers in areas where legal abortion remains restricted in Mexico, and 3) to compare the KAPs of Ob/Gyn physicians to other women’s health care providers.

Methods: A cross-sectional study will be conducted at the Collegio Mexicano de Especialistas En Gynecologia Y Obstetricia (COMEGO) 60th National meeting. Approximately 600 women’s health care providers (15% of total) attending this meeting will take a one time anonymous survey. Audio-assisted computerized self-interview technology (ACASI) will be utilized as a novel method for collecting sensitive information related to abortion care, and the acceptability of this tool will be evaluated.

Expected outcomes: This study will identify existing barriers to safe abortion access and provision. Comparing health care providers in abortion restricted areas to Mexico City will help delineate the impact of legalization on abortion care and provide useful data to fuel policy change. Information collected will be helpful in designing future safe abortion education, outreach and training efforts for providers in Mexico and similar settings worldwide.

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