Barriers to accessing termination of pregnancy in a remote and rural setting: a qualitative study

Heller, R., Purcell, C. , Mackay, L., Caird, L. and Cameron, S.T. (2016) Barriers to accessing termination of pregnancy in a remote and rural setting: a qualitative study. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 123(10), pp. 1684-1691. (doi:10.1111/1471-0528.14117) (PMID:27145987)

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Abstract

Objective: To explore the experiences of women from a remote and rural setting who had a termination of pregnancy (TOP), in relation to any barriers they may have experienced trying to access TOP. Design: Qualitative interview study. Setting: Scottish Highlands and Western Isles. Population: Women who had undergone TOP in the Scottish Highlands National Health Service between October 2014 and May 2015. Methods: Sixteen semi-structured, audio-recorded telephone interviews were conducted by a researcher with women who had consented to be interviewed at their initial assessment. Six stages of thematic analysis were followed to explore themes in and across participant accounts. Main outcome measures: Themes derived from interview transcripts. Results: Four themes emerged relating to barriers to access and experience: (1) the impact of travel for TOP, (2) temporal factors unique to this population and how they affected women, (3) the attitude of health professionals, notably general practitioners, as a result of local culture, and (4) stigma surrounding TOP and the expectation that abortion will be traumatising. Conclusion: Women in remote and rural areas experience barriers to accessing TOP. Prompt referrals, more providers of TOP and tackling stigma associated with TOP could make delivery of this service more equitable and improve women's journey through TOP.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Purcell, Dr Carrie
Authors: Heller, R., Purcell, C., Mackay, L., Caird, L., and Cameron, S.T.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN:1470-0328
ISSN (Online):1471-0528
Published Online:05 May 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Wiley
First Published:First published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 123(10):1684-1691
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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