Table 2

Summary of included studies by outcome reported

Study authors (year)Medication/dosageSample sizeGestational ageCompleted follow-upHad abortion§Used misoprostolUsed recommended dose of misoprostolHad complications*Had serious complications†
N (%)N (%)N (%)N (%)N (%)N (%)
Briozzo et al (2006)4Misoprostol alone; dosage not specified675≤9 weeks:
321/495 (64.8%);
10–12 weeks: 93/495 (18.8%);
≥12 weeks:
57/495 (11.5%);
(GA available only for those who followed-up)
495/675 (73%)439/495 (89%)439/439
(100%)
3/439 (0.6%):
1 mild post-abortion infection
2 haemorrhage not requiring blood transfusion
0
Labandera et al (2016)
14
Not specified2717<10 weeks: 1777 (68.7%);
10–12 weeks: 541 (20.9%);
13–20 weeks: 247 (9.5%);
>20 weeks: 22 (0.9%)
729/2717 (27%)672/729
(92%)
46 (6.3%): bleeding or infectious complications that were classified as mild that did not require hospital admission; no details provided0
Kahabuka et al (2016)15Misoprostol alone; “based on WHO guidelines”110<8 weeks: 73 (66%)
8–12 weeks: 32 (29%)
>12 weeks: 3 (3%)
Completed follow-up: 55/110 (50%)54/55
98%
54/54
(100%)
3/54 (5.6%): all had prolonged bleeding from incomplete procedures0
Responded to survey: 50/110 (45%) - convenience sample stopped at 50 participants48/50 (96%)38/48 who had an abortion (79%)29/38 who used misoprostol (76%)
Grossman et al (2016)
16
Misoprostol alone; dosage not described, but outside medically recommended range was described as <8 pills or >12pills500Completed in-person or telephone follow-up: 177/500 (35%)‡
≤6 weeks: 174/253 (69%)
7–8 weeks: 38/253 (15%)
9–10 weeks: 10/253 (4%)
(GA available only for those who completed survey)
Completed survey and included in analysis:
253/500 (51%)
223/253 (88%)220/223 (99%)158/220 (72%)17/220 (8%):
5 haemorrhage (without transfusion)
5 infection (n=5)
5 severe pain
2 other adverse events
Treatments: antibiotics (n=5), IV fluids (n=1), surgical abortion (n=8), no treatment (n=3)
2/220 (1%):
2 women spent one or more nights in a hospital, both received treatment for infection
Study authors (year)
Ease of obtaining misoprostolLocation where misoprostol was obtainedHad aspiration after misoprostolHad complete abortion without aspirationSatisfaction with harm reduction counsellingStarted contraceptive method
N (%)N (%)N (%)N (%)N (%)N (%)
Briozzo et al (2006)4Not reported; however, in methods section, reported that aspiration rate decreased from 30% to 18% over time
Labandera et al (2016)14620/729 (85%) reported they received the support and attention they needed550/729 (76%)
Kahabuka et al (2016)
From follow-up
From survey15
 – –
Very easy to obtain: 33/38 (87%)Obtained from local pharmacy: 34/38 (90%)3/54 (6%): same 3 women who had prolonged bleeding51/54 (94%): not explicitly stated but based on number who had aspirations49/50 (98%)38/54 (70%)
Grossman et al (2016)
From follow-up
From survey16
Very or somewhat easy to obtain: 114/220 (52%)
Somewhat hard: 82/220 (37%)
Very hard: 31/220 (14%)
Pharmacy: 175/220 (80%)
Friends/family: 23/220 (10.5%)
Internet: 9/220 (4.1%)
Other: 13/220 (4.1%)
49/220 (22%)146/220 (66%): of note, 24 were unsure; and one had no response187/220 (85%) very satisfied120/220 (55%)
  • *Complications are defined as infection not requiring intravenous (IV) antibiotics or hospital admission; haemorrhage or prolonged bleeding not requiring transfusion.

  • †Serious complications are defined as infection requiring IV antibiotics or hospital admission; haemorrhage requiring blood transfusion; any other complication requiring hospital admission other than simply for aspiration.

  • ‡Note: proportion who completed follow-up is only reported for those who completed the survey and took misoprostol; there may be people who followed up in person or via telephone but did not complete the survey but this is not reported.

  • §This was the primary outcome for the review.

  • GA, gestational age; IV, intravenous.