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Counselling of complications of termination of pregnancy within a single Trust setting
  1. Eleanor M K Gate, MBChB, Senior House Officer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology,
  2. Min Yu Lim, MBChB, MRCOG, Specialist Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology,
  3. Nikki Harvey, RGN FPC, Nurse Specialist in Women's Health and
  4. Chris R Hardwick, MBChB, MRCOG, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Eleanor Gate, Southern General Hospital, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Southern General Hospital, 1345 Govan Road, Glasgow G51 4TF, UK. E-mail: elliegate{at}


Background National guidelines on the care of women requesting induced abortion recommend that counselling prior to termination of pregnancy (TOP) includes information about potential complications and sequelae. Case notes of women requesting TOP in a single hospital Trust were audited for documentation of counselling about complications. As a result of this audit the integrated care pathway (ICP) was altered to include a list of the potential complications and sequelae. We repeated the audit to evaluate the effect of this intervention on counselling.

Objective To re-audit the counselling of women undergoing TOP with regard to the potential complications and sequelae of TOP and to compare counselling in consultant-led and nurse-led clinics.

Methods The study population comprised women requesting TOP within south Glasgow, UK who were seen in a consultant-led gynaecology clinic or nurse-led clinic. A retrospective audit was carried out in 2004 and a prospective audit in 2005. Case notes and correspondence to primary care referrers were reviewed for documented evidence of counselling.

Results We reviewed 98% of case notes in the first audit and 85% in the second audit. Results from both nurse-led and consultant-led clinics indicated that evidence of adequate counselling had improved, with an increase from 98% to 100% in the nurse-led clinics and from 43% to 64% in the consultant-led clinics.

Conclusions Comparison of results from 2004 and 2005 suggests improvement in counselling since introduction of an ICP listing complications and sequelae of TOP.

  • abortion
  • audit
  • complications of termination
  • counselling
  • integrated care pathway

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