Introducing medical abortion in Turkey: Perspectives of physicians

Akin A., DOĞAN B., Ozvaris S. B., Mihciokur S.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GYNECOLOGY & OBSTETRICS, vol.118, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Objective: To better understand the knowledge, attitudes, and perspectives on medical abortion (MA) held by physicians in Turkey. Methods: The study was conducted in 4 provinces. Pretested, structured, self-administered questionnaires were answered by 187 obstetricians-gynecologists (ob-gyns) and 268 general physicians (GPs). Results: Although MA is not yet available at reproductive health facilities in Turkey, 96% of the ob-gyns and 82% of the GPs said they had heard about it. Moreover, 60% of the former and 5% of the latter said they had performed MAs, most commonly using misoprostol alone. More than 90% of the ob-gyns and 13% of the GPs had performed surgical abortions, and most (71% and 78%) thought that MA should be offered in the country. Conclusion: Most physicians in Turkey are aware of MA, with a large majority supporting its wider use. However, their concerns about the method and the incorrect understanding of its risks and possible complications may explain the reluctance of some physicians to provide MA services. These issues should be covered in physician training programs before the formal introduction of MA, while advocacy efforts press for registering mifepristone and misoprostol for its use. (C) 2012 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.