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Expanding the Providers Share Workshop Model: A partnership with Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) Consortium of Abortion Providers (CAPS)

Lisa Harris, University of Michigan, 2011

Project abstract

Our goal is to strengthen human resources for abortion care. Outside of abortion, there is extensive literature documenting need for supportive interventions for workers in helping professions. Abortion providers face highly unique stresses, including being targets of stigma, violence, harassment, and restrictive legislation. To date, the focus of human resources for abortion care has been on educating and training new physician providers. Psychosocial needs of providers have received scant attention in the medical literature.

However these psychosocial needs may be related to provision of abortion services after training. The needs of non-physician caregivers have received virtually no scholarly attention, but also may be an important abortion human resource issue.

Previously, we developed the Providers Share Workshop, a 5-session group workshop designed for abortion workers, to help alleviate some of the unique burdens of providing abortion care, in particular the burden of doing stigmatized work. SFP funded a pilot study of Providers Share, as well as a larger national study which is now nearing completion. Pilot data showed, and preliminary analysis of national data confirms, that participants find the Workshop immensely valuable, and that it reduces the burden of abortion stigma that workers face, among other benefits.

We now seek to convert Providers Share from a research protocol to a “manualized” tool that can be used at any abortion-care site. We propose to partner with Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s (PPFA) Consortium of Abortion Providers (CAPS) in order to do so. We will revise the Workshop to meet the logistical and institutional needs of PPFA affiliates, while maintaining its content; train a cadre of Workshop facilitators; recruit twelve PPFA affiliates to undertake the Workshop; and assess the impact of the Workshop on individual workers as well as work-places.

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