HumanInsight Provider Mistrust and Telemedicine Abortion Care Preferences Among Patients in Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky
Telemed J E Health. 2022 Jul 19. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2022.0101. Online ahead of print.
Objectives: The convenience and privacy provided by telemedicine medication abortion may make this service preferable to patients who mistrust their abortion provider. We assessed associations between mistrust in the abortion provider and preferences for telemedicine abortion. Study Design: From April 2020 to April 2021, we surveyed patients seeking abortion in Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Using unconditional logistic regression models, we examined unadjusted and adjusted associations between mistrust in the abortion provider and preferences for telemedicine abortion among all participants, and among only participants undergoing medication abortion. Results: Of 1,218 patients who met inclusion criteria, 546 used medication abortion services. Just more than half (56%) of all participants and many (64%) of medication abortion participants preferred telemedicine services. Only 6% of medication abortion participants received telemedicine medication dispensing services. Only 1.4% of all participants and 1% of medication abortion participants mistrusted the abortion provider. Participants who mistrusted the abortion provider were somewhat more likely to prefer telemedicine abortion (unadjusted odds ratio [OR]: 2.5, 95% CI: 0.8-7.9; adjusted OR: 2.9, 95% CI: 0.9-9), and medication abortion participants who mistrusted the abortion provider were also somewhat more likely to prefer telemedicine abortion (unadjusted OR: 3.5, 95% CI: 0.4-28.9; adjusted OR: 5.0, 95% CI: 0.6-43), although these associations were not statistically significant. Conclusions: In three abortion-restrictive states, most patients expressed preferences for telemedicine abortion, but few accessed them. Provider mistrust was rare, but those experiencing mistrust trended toward preferring telemedicine services. Telemedicine may improve access to abortion services for patients experiencing medical mistrust.
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