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Providing experiential information on early medical abortion: a qualitative evaluation of an animated personal account, Lara’s Story
  1. Sarah Sherman1,
  2. Jeni Harden2,
  3. Dawn Cattanach2,
  4. Sharon T Cameron3
  1. 1 College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2 Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3 Chalmers Sexual Health Clinic, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Sharon T Cameron, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, 47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ, UK; s1306320{at}


Background An animated film has been created to provide information to women requesting early medical abortion (EMA). The 9 min film, Lara’s Story, was created using one woman’s personal account of her experience. This study evaluated the views of women who had recently undergone EMA on the film and its potential usefulness in providing experiential information to women requesting EMA.

Method Women who had undergone EMA within the past month were recruited. They were shown the film and interviewed in a semi-structured style. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. They were analysed using cross-sectional indexing and thematic analysis with an inductive approach.

Results 13 women were interviewed. All reported that the film gave a realistic account of EMA and most agreed that they would have wanted to watch it before EMA had it been available. Some said that it might help women who were struggling with decision-making with regard to EMA and all said that there should be unrestricted access to the film from the website of the abortion service. The women commented that the animated style of the film allowed all groups of women to relate to the story. Some commented that Lara’s experience of pain, bleeding and side effects such as nausea differed from their own and therefore felt that it would be useful to make more than one woman’s account available.

Conclusion The availability of animated audiovisual films recounting women’s experiences of EMA might be a valuable adjunct to clinical information for women seeking EMA.

  • abortion
  • termination of pregnancy
  • patient stories

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  • Contributors STC conceived the idea for this study. JH, SS, DC developed the idea. DC undertook animation and voiceover of Lara’s Story. SS conducted interviews. SS and JH conducted analysis. All contributors have reviewed and approved the paper.

  • Funding This study received funding from Lothian Sexual Health Strategy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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