James Newton


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    IPPF monitors quality of care throughout its abortion programme in order to assess and improve clinical service delivery. However, the current measures are largely focused on clinic and staff capacity, and do not fully capture the client’s perspective of abortion care beyond broad measures of satisfaction. IPPF aimed to explore women’s perception of quality abortion services to better understand their concerns and priorities. In collaboration with Ibis Reproductive Health and IPPF’s Member Associations in India and Kenya, data was gathered from women who had previously obtained abortion services. 24 women in Kenya were interviewed, while in India 10 women were interviewed and 11 took part in two focus group discussions. A structured set of questions was developed and refined to elicit responses on what women felt comprised a good quality abortion, how they felt about the abortion care they received and the impact of abortion-related stigma on their experience. These responses were coded and analysed by Ibis. Results showed that women in both countries had low expectations of the abortion experience before their procedure, had little knowledge of what it would involve and feared pain, dangerous side-effects and stigmatising treatment from providers. Aspects of care mentioned as most important included kind and polite staff, a successful and safe procedure, and clear explanations to prepare clients. IPPF will use these findings to inform its abortion programme and improve quality in abortion care. Abortion quality of care monitoring will be refined so that these dimensions of quality are adequately captured and measured. This will involve developing indicators that focus on these concerns and integrating these into client exit interviews and other methods of monitoring.