Publications by authors named "Rebecca Blaylock"

5 Publications

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Client perspectives on choice of abortion method in England and Wales.

BMJ Sex Reprod Health 2021 Sep 20. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

Centre for Reproductive Research & Communication, British Pregnancy Advisory Service, London, UK.

Introduction: The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the World Health Organization recommend that services provide a choice between medical and surgical methods of abortion. We analysed qualitative study data to examine patient perspectives on abortion method choice and barriers to meeting them.

Methods: In-depth interviews with 24 clients who had an abortion at British Pregnancy Advisory Service clinics were carried out between December 2018 and July 2019 to examine perspectives of quality of abortion care. In this article we focus on client perspectives on choice of abortion method. We performed thematic analysis of data relating to choice of abortion method, refined the analysis, interpreted the findings, and organised the data into themes.

Results: Participants' preferences for abortion method were shaped by prior experience of abortion, accessibility and privacy, perceptions of risk and experiences of abortion method, and information gathering and counselling. Participants' ability to obtain their preferred method was impacted by intersecting constraints such as appointment availability, service location and gestational age.

Conclusions: Our findings show that many factors shape participants' preferences for abortion method. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some abortion services have constrained abortion method choices, with an emphasis on medical abortion and 'no-touch' care. Providers in the UK and beyond should aim to restore and expand more treatment options when the situation allows.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjsrh-2021-201242DOI Listing
September 2021

Risk messages relating to fertility and pregnancy: a media content analysis.

Wellcome Open Res 2021 14;6:114. Epub 2021 May 14.

School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF14 4XN, UK.

The UK print and online media is an important channel by which scientific research is communicated to the public. Media risk messages relating to pregnancy or fertility contribute to the context of reproductive decision making, but their fidelity to the underlying science has been questioned. We measured the volume, distribution and content of science-based risk headlines relating to pregnancy or fertility in the UK media over four months. We grouped headlines into unique stories and categorised them by exposure and outcome of interest. We selected four unique stories for closer content analysis and assessed their fidelity to the underlying science, with attention to the role of press releases. We identified 171 headlines over four months (average 43 per month), comprising 56 unique stories. The unique stories most commonly concerned maternal risk factors (n=46) and child health outcomes (n=46). Maternal health outcomes were less frequently the focus (n=20). The most common risk factors in the media coverage were maternal food and drink (n=15), maternal medication and medical interventions (n=9), and maternal health factors (n=6). Media reports were largely faithful to press releases. Where substantive deviations from the underlying scientific study were identified, these could mostly be traced back to press releases or quotes from the study's authors. Press releases often omitted caveats which were reinstated at the media reporting stage, alongside additional expert criticism. Frequent science-based risk messages in the UK media frame mothers as vectors of potential harm to children, who are the focus of health outcomes. Largely, the media does not introduce misinformation, but reports press releases faithfully with additional caveats and expert commentary. Press releases fulfil an interpretative role, often omitting caveats and introducing new elements and advice to women. Their role as a bridge between scientific and lay audiences is discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.16744.1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8276184PMC
May 2021

"Anxious and traumatised": Users' experiences of maternity care in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Midwifery 2021 Nov 18;102:103069. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication, British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), 30-31 Furnival Street, London, EC4A 1JQ. Electronic address:

Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic saw universal, radical, and ultra-rapid changes to UK National Health Services (NHS) maternity care. At the onset of the pandemic, NHS maternity services were stripped of many of the features which support woman and family centred care. In anticipation of unknown numbers of pregnant women and maternity staff potentially sick with COVID-19, services were pared back to the minimum level considered to be required to keep women and their babies safe. The aim of this survey was to understand the impact of COVID-19 public health messaging and pandemic-related service changes on users of maternity care in the UK during the pandemic.

Methods: We conducted an online survey to explore user's experiences of COVID-19 public health messaging and 'socially-distanced' maternity care across the UK. The study population consisted of women who had experienced pregnancy after the 11th March 2020 (when the WHO declared a pandemic), whether or not they were still pregnant. We collected data between June and September 2020. We used framework analysis for the free-text data and generated descriptive statistics.

Findings: Women were generally happy to adopt a precautionary approach and stringently social distance in the context of a relatively unknown pathogen and in an environment of extreme anxiety and uncertainty, but were acutely aware of the negative impacts. The survey found that the widespread changes to services caused unintended negative consequences including essential clinical care being missed, confusion over advice, and distress and emotional trauma for women. COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in women feeling their antenatal and postnatal care to be inadequate and has also come at great emotional cost to users. Women reported feeling isolated and sad in the postnatal period, but also frustrated and upset by a lack of staff to help them care for their new baby.

Key Conclusions: With growing evidence of the impact of the virus on pregnant women and an increased understanding of the unintended consequences of unclear public health messaging and overly precautious services, a more nuanced, evidence-based approach to caring for women during a pandemic must be prioritised.

Implications For Practice: All maternity services should ensure they have clear lines of communication with women to keep them updated on changing care and visiting arrangements. Services should ensure that opportunities to provide safe face-to-face care and access for birth partners and visitors are maximised.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2021.103069DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8437682PMC
November 2021

Client satisfaction and experience of telemedicine and home use of mifepristone and misoprostol for abortion up to 10 weeks' gestation at British Pregnancy Advisory Service: A cross-sectional evaluation.

Contraception 2021 Jul 8;104(1):61-66. Epub 2021 May 8.

British Pregnancy Advisory Service, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, United Kingdom.

Objective: Evaluate satisfaction and experience with telemedicine consultation and home use of mifepristone and misoprostol for abortion to 10 weeks' gestation.

Study Design: Cross-sectional evaluation of British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) clients who used mifepristone and misoprostol at home from 11 May to 10 July 2020. We sent a text message with a link to a web-survey 2 to 3 weeks postabortion. Questions assessed satisfaction and experiences with a service model including telephone consultation and provision of medicines by mail or collection from the clinic. We used bivariate and multivariate regression to explore associations between client characteristics and outcomes. Our primary outcomes were overall satisfaction (5-point Likert scale) and reported contact with a health care provider.

Results: A total of 1,333 clients participated. Respondents described home use of medications as "straightforward" (75.8%) and most were "very satisfied" (78.3%) or "satisfied" (18.6%) overall. Being "very satisfied" was associated with parity (aOR 1.53, 95% CI 1.09-2.14) and pain control satisfaction (aOR 2.22, 95% CI 1.44-3.44). Health care provider contact was reported by 14.7%; mainly to BPAS' telephone aftercare service (76.8%). Dissatisfaction with pain control (aOR 3.62, 95% CI 1.79-7.29) and waiting >1 week to use mifepristone (aOR3.71, 95% CI 1.48-9.28) were associated with health care provider contact. If needed in the future, most would prefer consultation by phone (74.3%) and home use of mifepristone and misoprostol (77.8%).

Conclusions: Satisfaction with telemedicine and home use of mifepristone and misoprostol is high. Most clients do not need health care provider support when administering medicines at home or post abortion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.contraception.2021.04.027DOI Listing
July 2021

Systematic review of early abortion services in low- and middle-income country primary care: potential for reverse innovation and application in the UK context.

Global Health 2020 09 30;16(1):91. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK.

Background: In the UK, according to the 1967 Abortion Act, all abortions must be approved by two doctors, reported to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), and be performed by doctors within licensed premises. Removing abortion from the criminal framework could permit new service delivery models. We explore service delivery models in primary care settings that can improve accessibility without negatively impacting the safety and efficiency of abortion services. Novel service delivery models are common in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs) due to resource constraints, and services are sometimes provided by trained, mid-level providers via "task-shifting". The aim of this study is to explore the quality of early abortion services provided in primary care of LMICs and explore the potential benefits of extending their application to the UK context.

Methods: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Global Health, Maternity and Infant Care, CINAHL, and HMIC for studies published from September 1994 to February 2020, with search terms "nurses", "midwives", "general physicians", "early medical/surgical abortion". We included studies that examined the quality of abortion care in primary care settings of low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs), and excluded studies in countries where abortion is illegal, and those of services provided by independent NGOs. We conducted a thematic analysis and narrative synthesis to identify indicators of quality care at structural, process and outcome levels of the Donabedian model.

Results: A total of 21 indicators under 8 subthemes were identified to examine the quality of service provision: law and policy, infrastructure, technical competency, information provision, client-provider interactions, ancillary services, complete abortions, client satisfaction. Our analysis suggests that structural, process and outcome indicators follow a mediation pathway of the Donabedian model. This review showed that providing early medical abortion in primary care services is safe and feasible and "task-shifting" to mid-level providers can effectively replace doctors in providing abortion.

Conclusion: The way services are organised in LMICs, using a task-shifted and decentralised model, results in high quality services that should be considered for adoption in the UK. Collaboration with professional medical bodies and governmental departments is necessary to expand services from secondary to primary care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12992-020-00613-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7524570PMC
September 2020
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