COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Comparing the quality of three models of postabortion care in public hospitals in Mexico City

Deborah L Billings, Jaime Fuentes Velásquez, Ricardo Pérez-Cuevas
International Family Planning Perspectives 2003, 29 (3): 112-20
14519587

CONTEXT: Each year, an estimated 120,000 women in Mexico seek treatment in public hospitals for abortion-related complications--the country's fourth leading cause of maternal mortality. Models of postabortion care emphasizing counseling and provision of contraceptives have the potential to improve the quality of care these women receive.

METHODS: Between April 1997 and August 1998, women treated for abortion complications in six Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) hospitals in the Mexico City metropolitan area were surveyed. Data related to patient-provider interaction, information provision and counseling were analyzed for three models of care: sharp curettage standard care, sharp curettage postabortion care and manual vacuum aspiration postabortion care.

RESULTS: Women in the two postabortion care groups rated the quality of services they received more highly than did those receiving sharp curettage standard care. A significantly greater proportion of women treated under the postabortion care models than of those treated under the sharp curettage standard model received information about their health status before treatment, the uterine evacuation procedure, signs of postabortion complications and care at home. In addition, a greater proportion of women treated under the postabortion care models accepted a contraceptive method before leaving the facility (64-78% vs. 40%).

CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of a postabortion care model contributes to the delivery of high-quality services to women experiencing abortion complications. The standard IMSS model of postabortion treatment should be modified to emulate those in hospitals that systematically link general counseling and family planning services to the clinical services provided to women with abortion complications.

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