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Termination of pregnancy in Tasmania: Access and service provision from the perspective of general practitioners

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Ogden, K ORCID: 0000-0003-1811-8667, Ingram, E, Levis, J, Roberts, G and Robertson, I 2021 , 'Termination of pregnancy in Tasmania: Access and service provision from the perspective of general practitioners' , Australian Journal of Primary Health .

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Abstract

Background: Termination of pregnancy (TOP) is considered an important component of sexual and reproductive health internationally, however there are known barriers in Australia and countries worldwide. This study investigates the issues for general practitioners (GPs) regarding aiding access to TOP and providing Early Medical Abortion (EMA) services for Tasmanian women.Aim: To identify the knowledge and attitudes of Tasmanian GPs regarding TOP services and to determine which known barriers to providing EMA are most significant for GPs in Tasmania, Australia. Materials: A survey was developed and piloted based on previous qualitative research which identified known barriers to accessing TOP. Surveys were posted to all identified GPs in Tasmania with a reply-paid envelope. Results: 211 (27.4%) responses were returned. GPs identified difficulty in access to TOP services, particularly for rural women and those on low income. Almost half of GPs, excluding conscientious objectors, indicated they would be interested in providing EMA services however perceived barriers were significant. The most significant barriers related to accessing appropriate training and support. There was uncertainty around financial reward, support services, medical indemnity, and access to mifepristone/misoprostol. Conclusions: Accessing TOP remains an issue for Tasmanian women. Many Tasmanian GPs are interested in providing EMA services if barriers are addressed, however there is a lack of knowledge about the practicalities of implementing EMA. Providing practical support to GPs and increasing knowledge pertaining to EMA provision in general practice could improve access in primary care.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Ogden, K and Ingram, E and Levis, J and Roberts, G and Robertson, I
Keywords: health Services, early medical termination, general practice
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Primary Health
Publisher: C S I R O Publishing
ISSN: 1448-7527
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