Counseling women with early pregnancy failure: utilizing evidence, preserving preference

Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Dec;81(3):454-61. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.10.031. Epub 2010 Nov 18.


Objectives: To apply principles of shared decision-making to EPF management counseling. To present a patient treatment priority checklist developed from review of available literature on patient priorities for EPF management.

Methods: Review of evidence for patient preferences; personal, emotional, physical and clinical factors that may influence patient priorities for EPF management; and the clinical factors, resources, and provider bias that may influence current practice.

Results: Women have strong and diverse preferences for EPF management and report higher satisfaction when treated according to these preferences. However, estimates of actual treatment patterns suggest that current practice does not reflect the evidence for safety and acceptability of all options, or patient preferences. Multiple practice barriers and biases exist that may be influencing provider counseling about options for EPF management.

Conclusion: Choosing management for EPF is a preference-sensitive decision. A patient-centered approach to EPF management should incorporate counseling about all treatment options.

Practice implications: Providers can integrate a counseling model into EPF management practice that utilizes principles of shared decision-making and an organized method for eliciting patient preferences, priorities, and concerns about treatment options.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / psychology*
  • Checklist
  • Choice Behavior
  • Counseling*
  • Decision Making*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Patient Preference*
  • Pregnancy
  • Professional-Patient Relations*