The silent consumer: women's reports and ratings of abortion services

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



*Abortion, Induced; Adolescent; Adult; Ambulatory Care Facilities; Analysis of Variance; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; *Health Services Accessibility; Humans; Logistic Models; New Hampshire; Odds Ratio; *Outcome Assessment (Health Care); Patient Satisfaction; Pregnancy; Treatment Outcome; Vermont


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Preventive Medicine


BACKGROUND: Abortion is one of the most common surgical procedures performed on women in the United States, and its safety has been demonstrated. Little research has focused, however, on women's reports and ratings of the service.

OBJECTIVES: This study explored the association of demographic factors, medical outcomes, and client ratings of service dimensions with global satisfaction.

RESEARCH DESIGN: For this cross-sectional study, permission to access clinic medical records was obtained. Surveys were distributed after the procedure, with instructions to return by mail.

SUBJECTS: Study subjects were 797 women who underwent an outpatient surgical abortion at 1 of 2 New England health centers in 1996 and 1997.

MEASURES: Demographic data, pregnancy history, and information on the procedure were collected from medical records. Survey items measured reports of access, medical outcomes, and satisfaction ratings with service domains.

RESULTS: Women with positive ratings of staff sensitivity and of the counseling process and information received and those who had the procedure at a younger gestational age were less likely to report that care could be better. Although very few women reported a medical complication, this was associated with agreement that care could have been better, as was reporting agreement that the wait between the preexamination visit and the procedure was too long.

CONCLUSIONS: Satisfaction with abortion services is high. Education and counseling play very important roles. Survey items could routinely be used to monitor services.


Med Care. 2001 Jan;39(1):50-60. Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Medical care

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID