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Improving induced abortion care in Scotland: Enablers and constraints

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Robbie Foy


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Background: Induced abortion is the most common gynaecological procedure in Scotland. Despite several recent initiatives to improve the quality of abortion care, inappropriate variations in care remain. Objective: To identify and explore factors that enable or constrain the provision of high-quality induced abortion care in Scotland. Methods: Interviews with a range of key informants with differing perspectives and levels of involvement in abortion care. The interview framework identified factors related to recommendations, targeted individuals, or the organisation and wider environment that enable or inhibit evidence-based practice. Results: Induced abortion care in Scotland is generally perceived to be of good quality but the need for further action to tackle important inappropriate variations in care is recognised. Some aspects of care can be improved by tackling individual-level barriers and providing better evidence to support change. Some individual-level barriers (e.g. attitudes) are less amenable to change than others (e.g. knowledge). However, major barriers to quality improvement are rooted in organisational and social culture. Conclusion: Tackling variations in abortion care requires a multilevel approach targeting both individual factors and organisational culture.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Say L, Foy R

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care

Year: 2005

Volume: 31

Issue: 1

Pages: 20-23

Print publication date: 01/01/2005

ISSN (print): 1471-1893

ISSN (electronic):


DOI: 10.1783/0000000052972807

PubMed id: 15720842