We assessed healthcare students’ knowledge and opinions on Argentinian abortion law and identified differences between first- and final-year healthcare students.
In this cross-sectional study, self-administered anonymous questionnaires were administered to 760 first- and 695 final-year students from different fields of study (medicine, midwifery, nursing, radiology, nutrition, speech therapy, and physiotherapy) of the School of Medicine at the University of Buenos Aires, in 2011-2013.
Compared to first-year students, a higher percentage of final-year students knew that abortion is legally restricted in Argentina (p < 0.001). A significantly higher percentage of final-year students could correctly identify the circumstances in which abortion is legal: woman´s life risk (87.4% last vs. 79.1% first year), rape of a woman with developmental disability (66.2% first vs. 85.4% last-year; p < 0.001). More final-year students chose severe foetal malformations (37.3% first year vs. 57.3% final year) despite its being illegal.
Although most final-year students knew that abortion is legally restricted in Argentina, misconceptions regarding circumstances of legal abortion were observed; this may be due to the fact that abortion is inadequately covered in the medical curricula. Medical schools should ensure that sexual and reproductive health topics are an integral part of their curricula. Healthcare providers who are aware of the legality of abortion are more likely to provide the public with sound information and ensure abortions are appropriately performed.
Below: Healthcare students’ knowledge on current abortion law
Below: Percentage of healthcare students who chose the correct answer, by field of study
Below: Healthcare students’ opinion on abortion legislation
Full article at: http://goo.gl/8jzNqt
1Department of OB-GYN, Gynaecology Division, Faculty of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
2Division of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway
Correspondence: Belén Provenzano-Castro, Department of OB-GYN, Gynaecology Division, Faculty of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Int J Med Educ. 2016; 7: 95–101.
Published online 2016 Mar 28. doi: 10.5116/ijme.56e0.74be
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