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Nurse Educ Today. 2014 Jan;34(1):11-4. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2013.04.016. Epub 2013 May 15.

Abortion-care education in Japanese nurse practitioner and midwifery programs: a national survey.

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Division of Health Science, Kanazawa University, 5-11-80 Kodatuno, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0942, Japan. Electronic address:



While various reports have been published concerning ethical dilemmas in nursing and midwifery, and while many nurses and midwives struggle with the conflict between personal feelings raised by abortion and the duties of their position, few studies investigate the extent and conditions of abortion-care education for registered nurses (RNs) and certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) in Japan.


To describe Japanese abortion-care education programs and to investigate program directors' or other relevant persons' perceptions of abortion-care education.


Descriptive study was used to determine the extent of abortion-care education programs and the respondents' perceptions of abortion-care education.


All 228 Japanese nursing and/or midwifery schools were invited to participate in the study.


The response rate was 33.8% (n=77). Response rate varied by program type: 18.4% (n=45) for nursing programs and 29.0% (n=32) for midwifery programs.


A confidential survey requesting information about curricular coverage of ten reproductive health topics related to abortion was mailed to program directors.


The results show that the majority of CNM and RN programs surveyed offer didactic exposure to instruction in family planning and contraception, emergency contraception, legal considerations, and possible medical complications. However, few programs offer clinical exposure to all 10 topics. Of the respondents, 36% reported that lack of time and the low priority given to abortion-care education were issues of curriculum priority. As for educational materials, few textbooks or guidebooks exist on abortion care in Japan, and most educators use general nursing textbooks to cover this topic.


Regardless of interest in or intention to provide abortion services as part of their practice, all providers of abortion-care education need to be knowledgeable about the full range of reproductive health options, including family planning and abortion, and to be able to convey this information to clients.


Abortion-care education; Certified nurse-midwives; Registered nurses; Reproductive health; Surveys

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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