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Med J Aust. 2009 Jan 19;190(2):69-72.

Considering abortion: a 12-month audit of records of women contacting a Pregnancy Advisory Service.

Author information

1
Key Centre for Women's Health in Society, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. h.rowe@unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To characterise the demographic and psychosocial circumstances of women contacting Victoria's largest public pregnancy advisory service (PAS).

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Audit of PAS electronic records for the 12 months from 1 October 2006 to 30 September 2007. De-identified data were extracted from a comprehensive electronic database used for recording consultations.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Summary statistics and measures of association.

RESULTS:

During the 12 months, 5462 women contacted PAS; records were created for 3827 women, and data were available in more than 80% of records for 77% (13/17) of items. Over half of the women receiving pregnancy support from PAS (60%) were 18-29 years old; 12% lived outside the metropolitan area; 51% held a health care card, and smaller percentages faced housing, financial, or drug and alcohol problems; 16% reported violence, but 71% described partners as involved and supportive. Most (79%) made contact within 2 weeks of discovering pregnancy, and 72% were referred by a general practitioner. Later gestation at contact was associated with younger age (P < 0.001), having a health care card (P < 0.001), and living outside the metropolitan area (P < 0.001). The most common reasons for seeking abortion were the desire to delay pregnancy (23%) and family completion (18%); 42% already had at least one child. Twenty-three women reported that the pregnancy was the result of rape. Ten per cent had mental health problems, and smaller numbers faced access barriers and had special needs.

CONCLUSIONS:

This PAS responds to demand from women with diverse social and personal circumstances. Findings provide evidence for policy, prevention and service development.

PMID:
19236291
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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