Eliciting qualitative information about induced abortion: Lessons from Northeast Thailand

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Obtaining reliable information about induced abortion is notoriously difficult, especially where abortion is illegal. This article describes methods used in a study of illegal induced abortion among village women in Northeast Thailand. A variety of methods were used to gather in-depth qualitative data on abortion experiences including a randomized interview survey on reproductive health, in-depth interviews with women who had experienced an induced abortion in the last two years, and the use of vignettes in focus group discussions with men and women. The survey provided a broad overview of the extent of the experience of abortion. In-depth interviews through social networks proved more successful for obtaining reliable accounts of abortions and suggest that survey results were underestimates. Focus groups discussed the situational ethics involved in abortion decisions. Within an appropriate context and study design, it is possible to obtain highly sensitive information while respecting the privacy of informants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-641
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Care for Women International
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes

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