Gynekologer och barnmorskor inom svensk abortvård : åsikter, erfarenheter och upplevelser
Aim: To investigate gynecologists’ and midwives’ views and experiences regarding work in abortion care in Sweden.Methods: Questionnaire to gynecologists (n=269) and midwives (n=258 comprising 48 questions, response 85%. The quantitative studies (articles I-III) were supplemented by a qualitative study (article IV), consisting of focus-group interviews with gynecologists and midwives/nurses.Results: From the questionnaire studies it was apparent that all the gynecologists had worked in abortion care, whilst not all midwives had done so. The male gynecologists were older than both their female colleagues and the midwives; they had most years of experience but were now working least with abortion patients. Both groups considered it absolutely right, that Sweden have legal abortion and that the law was being followed. Most thought that women should be allowed to have an abortion even after they had felt fetal movements. The midwives were generally somewhat more restrictive than the gynecologists. Half of all thought that the work with abortion patients brought something positive with it. Those having worked longest and most extensively, especially during the previous year were most liberal. Both groups felt that there was a difference between working with surgical and late abortions compared with medical abortions. One in four had had misgivings when involved in surgical and medical abortions, and one in two with abortions after the 18th week. All were positive about the transition to medical abortions, and roughly two thirds of the midwives thought that the primary care sector should be able to take care of these, whereas less than half of the gynecologists thought this. The majority considered it important to receive further and continuing professional development and ongoing guidance. From the focus-group interviews it was clear that the experiences of the gynecologists were largely connected with the technical development of abortion methods and those of the midwives/nurses with improved pain relief. The work was sometimes described in paradoxical terms and was occasionally experienced as frustrating, especially in connection with repeat abortions. Neither of the two groups, however, had had any doubts about participating in abortion. The gynecologists described how women now expected to get an abortion, whereas previously they had asked for one. The midwife/nurse group maintained that the meetings with the women had become considerably more frequent. The interaction between the two professional groups was marked by great trust in each other’s professional competence.Conclusions: Gynecologists and midwives working in abortion care support Swedish abortion legislation and have no doubts about participating in abortions, despite the fact that they have frequently experienced complex and difficult work situations. The character of the work is experienced as contradictory and frustrating, but also as challenging and rewarding. The awareness that the two professional groups have of the importance of continuing professional development and ongoing guidance should be acted on. Furthermore, their collective views and experiences should be made use of, so that abortion care can be developed, not only in order to promote women’s health, but also to improve the work environment for the abortion staff.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:VETERINARY MEDICINE; Obstetrics and gynaecology; abortion; abortion care; abortion methods; experience; gynecologist; interaction; midwife; opinion; perception; work environment
Date of Publication:01/01/2007