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Provision of reproductive health services among adolescent medicine providers

Mandy Coles, University of Rochester, 2009
See also executive summary and publications in Journal of Adolescent Health (#1, #2).

Project abstract

Little is known about the reproductive health training, knowledge, education, and practice patterns among adolescent medicine providers. This is especially true for topics that address care for adolescents with diagnosed pregnancy, including medication abortion.

A 1998 survey found that very few adolescent medicine providers perform surgical abortions. At that time, 42% of respondents said they would prescribe medication for medical abortion if the drugs received FDA approval. However, this has not occurred.

Physicians with specialty training in adolescent medicine are responsible for the majority of pediatric resident physician education and hands-on training for adolescent reproductive health. With adolescents being at the highest risk for unintended pregnancy and the age group most likely to choose abortion, it is critical that all clinicians caring for adolescents be able to appropriately counsel pregnant patients on all of their options, and provide or refer for services when needed.

Through an internet-based tool, we intend to survey adolescent medicine providers on the extent of their service provision, prescribing and counseling patterns, prior training, and referral patterns in reproductive healthcare—focusing on medication abortion. Assessing adolescent medicine providers’ knowledge and practice of medication abortion can lead to an intervention to improve adolescent reproductive healthcare both through enhancing resident physician training and expanding provision of medication abortion to adolescents by clinicians who provide their routine care.

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