Acceptability and feasibility of early pregnancy termination by mifepristone-misoprostol: Results of a large multi-center trial in the United States
Winikoff B, Ellertson C, Elul B, Sivin I. Acceptability and feasibility of early pregnancy termination by mifepristone-misoprostol: Results of a large multi-center trial in the United States. Archives of Family Medicine. Fall 1998; 7:360-366
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate whether the regimen of oral mifepristone and misoprostol for medical abortion is acceptable to women and providers, in the United States, including physicians, nurses, and counselors, and whether proposed modifications of this regimen appear feasible for clinical practice.
DESIGN: A prospective study.
SETTING: Seventeen clinics in 15 states.
PARTICIPANTS: A total of 2121 women with pregnancies of 63 days or less in duration.
INTERVENTIONS: The administration of mifepristone, 600 mg, orally, followed after 2 days by the administration of misoprostol, 400 micrograms, orally. Clinical observation for 4 hours followed misoprostol administration. Two weeks later, at a checkup, women were questioned about the abortion experience. Providers also answered questions about acceptability and feasibility.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Patient reports of overall satisfaction with the abortion, the number of women who would choose medical abortion again if needed or recommend the method to others, the best and worst features of the method, and provider and patient assessments of home use.
RESULTS: The regimen was highly acceptable. Nearly all women (95.7%) would recommend it to others, 91.2% would choose it again, and 87.6% found it very or moderately satisfactory. Even among women for whom the method failed, 69.6% would try it again, 84.9% would recommend it to others, and 51.9% found it very or moderately satisfactory. The chance to avoid a surgical procedure was reported as the method's best feature. The most commonly cited worst features were the uncertainty and fear of side effects. Providers and women considered home use feasible and safe.
CONCLUSIONS: American women found abortion with the use of mifepristone and misoprostol acceptable. Even most with unsuccessful outcomes would select the regimen again and recommend it to others. Most providers and women thought that home use of misoprostol should be available for women who prefer it.