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PLoS One. 2019 Jun 11;14(6):e0217902. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217902. eCollection 2019.

Specialist follow-up contraceptive support after abortion-Impact on effective contraceptive use at six months and subsequent abortions: A randomised controlled trial.

Author information

1
Department of Sexual Health and HIV, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.
2
Academic Department of Sexual Health and HIV, King's College London, Weston Education Centre, London, United Kingdom.
3
Department of Primary Care and Public Health Sciences, King's College London, Addison House, Guy's Campus, London, United Kingdom.
4
King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
5
NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Guy's and St.Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the impact of specialist contraceptive support after abortion on effective contraceptive use at six months and subsequent abortions within two years.

METHODS:

Multicentre randomised controlled trial among women undergoing induced abortion in three London boroughs. Allocation was through electronically concealed stratified randomisation by centre, blinding clinicians and participants to arm allocation until interventions. Control group received standard care, comprising advice to follow up with their general practitioner or contraceptive clinic as needed. Intervention group additionally received specialist contraceptive support via telephone or face-to-face consultation at 2-4 weeks and 3 months post-abortion. Primary outcome was rate of effective contraceptive use at six months post-abortion. Secondary outcomes were subsequent abortions within two years.

RESULTS:

569 women were recruited between October 2011 and February 2013, randomised to intervention (282) and control (287) groups; 290 (142 intervention, 148 control) were available for primary outcome analysis. Intention-to-treat analysis showed no significant difference between the two groups in effective contraceptive use after abortion (62%, vs 54%, p = 0·172), long-acting contraceptive use (42% versus 32%, p = 0·084), and subsequent abortion (similar rates, at 1 year: 10%, p = 0·895, between 1-2 years: 6%, p = 0·944). Per-protocol analysis showed those who received the complete intervention package were significantly more likely to use effective contraception (67% versus 54%, p = 0·048), in particular long-acting contraception (49% versus 32%, p = 0·010) and showed a non-significant reduction in subsequent abortions within 2 years (at 1 year: 5% versus 10%, p = 0·098; and between 1-2 years: 3% versus 6%, p = 0·164, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

Structured specialist support post-abortion did not result in significant use of effective contraception at six months or reduction in subsequent abortions within two years. Participants engaging with the intervention showed positive effect on effective contraception at six months post-abortion. The potential benefit of such intervention may become evident through further studies with increased patient participation.

Conflict of interest statement

I have read the journal’s policy and the authors of this manuscript have the following competing interests: UK received the grant and was funded by the London Sexual Health Programme for the conduct of the study. LP and SY were funded by the London Sexual Health Programme and National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network for the conduct of this study. AD received funding from London Sexual Health Programme for this study. LC, BC, TC and CC declare no competing interests. All authors declare no financial relationships with any organisations that might have an interest in the submitted work and no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work. This does not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

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