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Table 2 Summary of study characteristics: general experiences of TOP

From: Experiences of abortion: A narrative review of qualitative studies

Author & Date Title of article Country Sample characteristics Details
Harden & Ogden 1999 [19] Young women's experiences of arranging and having abortions U.K. n = 54
Age: 16–24.
NHS and private patients.
Recruitment from two hospitals and two voluntary sector clinics
Interview duration: 10–60 mins
Timing: Interviews between 1–3 hours after their abortion
Tornbom & Moller 1999 [20] Repeat abortion: a qualitative study Sweden n = 20
Age: 20–29
Women who had had between 1–5 abortions in the past 5 years.
Convenience sampling of women seeking abortion at a family planning unit. Duration: one and a half to two hours
McIntyre et al 2001 [21] The Intersection of Relational and Cultural Narratives: Women's Abortion Experiences Canada n = 14
Age: 19–44
Wide range of social backgrounds. All Canadian-born, English-speaking and White.
In-depth interviews with women who had had an abortion were recruited from posters in one clinic and letters in handouts from another clinic
Bennett 2001 [22] Single women's experiences of premarital pregnancy and induced abortion in Lombok, Indonesia Indonesia n= 116
Age: 16–25
Single mostly Muslim women from a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds
In-depth interviews (n = 35)
Life story accounts (n = 15)
Interviews with abortion providers (n = 8)
8 focus groups followed by workshops (n = 58 participants)
Participation observation.
Remennick & Segal 2001 [23] Socio-cultural context and women's experiences of abortion: Israeli women and Russian immigrants compared Israel n = 23 Israeli women
n = 25 Russian immigrants
Age: 20 or more. Immigrants: typically less fortunate and poorly integrated, Israeli women: a mix of middle-class and less advantaged.
Recruited at abortion clinics and through the Israeli FPA counselling services.
Interviewed using semi-structured thematic guide
Timing: within 3 months of surgical TOP.
Andrews & Boyle 2003 [24] African American Adolescents' Experiences with Unplanned pregnancy and Elective Abortion U.S. n = 12
Age: 15–18
African American
Recruited through a non-profit family planning and abortion clinic. Focused ethnographic study. Interview duration: 1 to 1 1/2 hours
Timing: On day of TOP followed by 2nd and 3rd interviews 6–8 months later
27 interviews in total. Data analysis triangulated with field notes, informal interviews and participation observation.
Fielding et al 2004 [25] Social Context and the Experience of a Sample of U.S. Women Taking RU-486 (Mifepristone) for Early Abortion U.S. n = 35
Around 3/4 were white with some college education, and 85% were employed.
Recruited from a clinical trial site
In-depth interviews, majority by telephone
Duration: 30 minutes
Timing: 1–6 weeks following their clinical follow-up visit
Alex and Hammarström 2004 [26] Women's experiences in connection with induced abortion – a feminist perspective Sweden n = 5
Age: 19–33
Not highly educated
Recruited from one health centre
In-depth interviews
Duration: 50 – 140 mins |
Timing: about one month after TOP
Kero et al 2004 [27] Wellbeing and mental growth – long-term effects of legal abortion Sweden n = 61
Age: 28 (mean and median)
29 employed, 18 students
Follow-up study from a questionnaire survey in one hospital. Semi-structured telephone interviews
Duration: 30–40 mins
Timing: 4 months (61 women) and 12 months (58 women) post TOP
Kumar et al 2004 [28] Decision making and referral prior to abortion: a qualitative study of women's experiences U.K. n = 21
Of varying ages and gestations, 14/21 from an ethnic minority community.
Recruited from three NHS TOP provider units (2 voluntary sector abortion providers).
In-depth interviews
Duration:1–2 hrs
Timing: 3–9 weeks after TOP
Lee et al 2004 [29] A matter of choice? Explaining national variations in teenage abortion and motherhood U.K. n = 103
Age: 17 and under at the time of pregnancy, from selected sites in England, Wales and Scotland.
Phase 3 of large national study: intensive interviews with 52 young mothers and 51 young women who experienced TOP,
Timing: up to 9 years after event.
Hallden et al 2005 [30] Meanings of Being Pregnant and Having Decided on Abortion: Young Swedish Women's Experiences Sweden n = 10
Age: 18–20
Recruited from three clinics in two cities.
In-depth interviews
Timing: 4–20 days before TOP
Trybulski 2005 [31] Women and abortion: The past reaches into the present U.S. n = 16
Age: 38–92 European-American women with 12 or more years of education. All had had an abortion 15 years or more previously.
Convenience sampling through flyers in public places, an advertisement in a women's magazine, and through referrals.
Interview duration: one and a half to two hours.
Goodwin & Ogden 2007 [32] Women's reflections upon their past abortions: An exploration of how and why emotional reactions change over time U.K. n = 10
aged 23–31
Of mixed ethnicities Three had a medical abortion.
Recruitment through advertisements in a university.
In-depth semi-structured interviews conducted in university premises.
Duration: 20–90 minutes
Experienced TOP 1–9 years previously.