Study: Abortion Providers Offer Quality Care

A Kaiser Family Foundation study found that 98% of women who obtained an abortion rated their overall care as either “excellent” (60%), “very good” (26%), or “good” (12%). Ninety-six percent said that would recommend their abortion provider to loved ones.

The study was conducted by The Picker Institute, a Boston-area health care quality assessment and improvement research organization. Researchers conducted interviews with more than 2,200 adult women who had had abortions at one of 12 abortion clinics located across the U.S.

Picker Institute President Susan Edgman-Levitan described the design and purpose of the study, saying, “Patient feedback has become key to measuring and improving the quality of health care today. Yet, due to the controversy and stigma that continues to be associated with abortion, this very common surgical procedure has been largely ignored in patient satisfaction studies.”

Women’s overall levels of satisfaction were measured using a number of criteria, including the degree to which clinic staff respected women’s right to privacy, made patients trust and feel confident in their abilities, treated patients with respect and dignity, and provided post-procedure assistance (for those who required it).

Women’s satisfaction was highest with regard to the information that they received about the abortion procedure and what they should expect. Ninety-seven percent of women said they also received counseling about birth control, and 60% said they had discussed sexually transmitted diseases with clinic staff. Ninety-nine percent of the women who were counseled about birth control and/or STDs said that the information presented to them was clear and understandable.

Ninety-four percent of those interviewed said that overall attention to privacy was either “excellent,” “very good,” or “good.” Eighty-eight percent said they were afforded “a lot of respect and dignity” by members of the clinic staff and 78% percent said they had “a lot of confidence and trust” in clinic staff.

In addition to their overwhelmingly positive responses on abortion care, interviewees also shared suggestions for improvement. Twenty-two percent said they would like greater privacy in clinic recovery rooms. Nineteen percent said they would appreciate greater staff attention to their need for confidentiality in clinic waiting areas. Among the 21% of patients who had questions or problems after leaving the clinic, one quarter said that they did not receive all of the help they wanted.

Study authors cautioned that it “is important to note that the survey sample is drawn from women who successfully located a provider, could afford the procedure, and were able to get to the clinic. Therefore, the access issues for this group are not representative of those facing the larger population of women of childbearing age.”


Kaiser Family Foundation - May 10, 1999

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