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Information for Service Users


People using abortion care and unplanned pregnancy supports are being asked to take part by sharing insights on how well services are meeting people’s needs.  We hope to gather people’s experiences through one-to-one confidential interviews with people who have recently used services. This includes people attending pregnancy counselling services or attending GPs, Women’s Health Clinics or hospitals for abortion care or those who have accessed abortion care outside of Ireland.
The study findings will inform the HSE in developing, planning and delivering services in the future.  The law on abortion care (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018) will be reviewed in 2021 and people’s views from this study will help to inform that review. This study is a chance for people to have a say on what unplanned pregnancy support and abortion care supports and services would best meet their needs.

How will service users be contacted?

A sample of services providing pregnancy counselling and abortion care are being selected as points of contact with service users for this study.  People attending services will be given detailed information about the study by their care provider. They will be asked to complete a secure web-based electronic form or a confidential paper-based form providing their name and contact details to return to the research team.  Researchers will then follow up directly with those who have agreed to be contacted and discuss the study further with people directly.
After receiving full information about the study, people will be asked to consent to take part in a one-to-one confidential interview with researchers. 

What does taking part involve?

Research interviews follow a conversation format and will ask people about their experiences of accessing and using pregnancy support and abortion care services.  Topics covered will include: your prior knowledge of abortion care services, how you contacted services, the help and support you sought in contacting services, your views on how well your needs were met, accessibility of services to you and other information you think policy makers and service providers should know when reviewing legislation providing for abortion care.  Interviews will be conducted remotely by telephone or video call or in person adhering to the social distancing measures currently in place. 
Interviews will usually last up to one hour.  Interviews are usually digitally recorded and then transcribed and made anonymous for analysis. All information collected for the study will treated in strictest confidence and stored securely within Trinity College Dublin.   A research report from the study will be provided to the HSE including recommendations arising from the research data.

Why take part?

This is a new part of Irish health care and users’ views are very important in making sure services are delivered in a way that best meets people’s needs when dealing with an unplanned pregnancy and seeking abortion care. By taking part in the study people can inform policy makers and service providers about how well current abortion care services and unplanned pregnancy services met their needs or not and how the services can be changed or improved to better meet people’s needs.

Important information

This study is fully separate to people’s care and researchers will not tell care providers which people agreed or declined to take part in the study.

Where can I get more information?

If you have questions or need further information please contact the research team
Dr Catherine Conlon
Assistant Professor of Social Policy
School of Social Work and Social Policy
Trinity College Dublin.
Phone: 01 896 1312 or 085-265 9637

Dr Kate Antosik-Parsons
Research Fellow
School of Social Work and Social Policy
Trinity College Dublin.
Phone: 01 896 1312 or 085-265 9637