Objective: To perform a systematic review of the effectiveness of contraceptive counselling in women undergoing an abortion and its impact on the acceptance and use of contraceptive methods.
Methods: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing women who had undergone an abortion and received contraceptive counselling at that time met the inclusion criteria. Articles published between 1997 and 2007 were selected from searches of the LILACS, SCIELO, MEDLINE, PubMed and Cochrane Library databases. Two reviewers independently assessed eligibility and the quality of the trial. The internal validity of the RCTs was evaluated by means of the Jadad scale. A meta-analysis of the three retained studies involving 694 women was performed. The Stata 9.2 SE statistical software was used, and a level of significance of 0.05 adopted.
Results: There were no differences between intervention and control groups, despite clinical heterogeneity. The results of the meta-analysis were not significant (OR = 1.32; CI: 0.90-1.94).
Conclusion: There was no evidence indicating that contraceptive counselling is effective in increasing acceptance and use of contraceptive methods after an abortion. This may not apply to developing countries, where the matter still needs to be investigated.