Self-reports of induced abortion: an empathetic setting can improve the quality of data

Am J Public Health. 2000 Jul;90(7):1141-4. doi: 10.2105/ajph.90.7.1141.


Objectives: This study estimated the proportion of incomplete abortions that are induced in hospital-based settings in Tanzania.

Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted in 2 phases at 3 hospitals in Tanzania. Phase 1 included 302 patients with a diagnosis of incomplete abortion, and phase 2 included 823 such patients.

Results: In phase 1, in which cases were classified by clinical criteria and information from the patient, 3.9% to 16.1% of the cases were classified as induced abortion. In phase 2, in which the structured interview was changed to an empathetic dialogue and previously used clinical criteria were omitted, 30.9% to 60.0% of the cases were classified as induced abortion.

Conclusions: An empathetic dialogue improves the quality of data collected among women with induced abortion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Criminal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Abortion, Incomplete / epidemiology
  • Abortion, Induced / adverse effects
  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Empathy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology
  • Pregnancy, Unwanted / statistics & numerical data
  • Tanzania / epidemiology
  • Truth Disclosure*