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*Editors' Note: As of January 2017, the Monthly Women's Health Research Review has been discontinued. Below are archived articles for your reference.

Study Outlines Strategies To Recruit, Retain Nurses for Abortion Care

March 26, 2015

A study based on interviews with registered nurses found that exposure to abortion care was integral to recruiting them into the field, while providing flexibility was integral for their retention. The researchers concluded that the study demonstrates "that a clear trajectory exists for development of expert nurses in abortion care provision," and they offered several recommendations on how to further promote such a trajectory.

School Health Centers Linked To Greater Exposure to Repro Health Education, Services

March 26, 2015

Researchers compared reproductive health measures among students at a large, urban high school that has a school health center (SHC) with those of students at a similar school without such a center. Students at the SHC school reported higher levels of sexuality education, health care provider counseling and hormonal contraception use. The "positive impact" of SHCs on reproductive health measures suggests they can be an effective tool for addressing teen pregnancy, the researchers wrote.

Study Links Abortion Legalization, Decreases in Infant Mortality in the U.S.

March 26, 2015

In this study, researchers examined changes in infant mortality in relation to the legal status of abortion and found that the fastest declines in infant mortality from 1970 to 1973 occurred in states where abortion was legalized in 1970. According to the researchers, the findings suggest more research is warranted about current abortion restrictions and their effect on infant mortality, as well as racial and economic inequities in infant mortality rates.

Commentary Stresses Importance of Setting Appropriate Family Planning Quality Measures

March 26, 2015

Researchers note that while it is important to develop standard quality measures related to family planning, metrics based solely on increasing the uptake of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods "may not be appropriate in the setting of a decision as complex and contextualized as the choice of a contraceptive method." They offer several recommendations for "measures that better capture the quality of contraceptive care in the context of women's needs and preferences."

Resources Aim To Address Implementation Gaps in ACA's Well-Woman Visit Benefit

March 26, 2015

Access to well-woman visits without cost-sharing is one of the preventive care services available to women under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148), but a lack of information and outreach about the benefit has left many women unaware that it is available to them. To address the issue, a group of women's health experts has created a consumer guide, a toolkit for providers and consumer advocates, and an issue brief describing the benefit itself, key components of well-woman visits, and how such visits can improve women's health.

Focus Groups Show Gaps in Family Planning Services Following Texas Policy Changes

February 26, 2015

Through focus groups with low-income women and adolescents in Texas, researchers explored the effects of changes to publicly funded family planning programs after the state Legislature cut the programs' budgets and excluded many providers. The study found that while participants had long faced barriers to accessing family planning services, the policy changes compounded these challenges and created new costs and access barriers. Participants and the study authors also offered several recommendations for improving the situation.

Large Study Links Mental Illness, Lower Contraceptive Adherence Among Female Veterans

February 26, 2015

A study examining contraceptive adherence and continuation among nearly 10,000 female veterans found that those with mental illness had higher odds of experiencing gaps of longer than 30 days between contraceptive refills. Veterans with both mental illness and substance use disorder were especially likely to experience long gaps and other disruptions, the researchers found. Reducing barriers to consistent contraceptive use, such as ensuring that long-acting reversible contraceptives are available, or providing the largest allowable supply of user-depended contraceptives to reduce the need for refills, could be beneficial to such women, they wrote.

Study: Evidence-Based Medical Abortion Regimen 'Highly Effective,' Safe

February 26, 2015

A study of more than 13,000 women who received "an evidence-based alternative to the FDA-approved regimen" for medical abortion found the evidenced-based regimen to be "highly effective" and safe. According to the researchers, the study "supports the conclusion that legislative efforts to restrict medical abortion to the FDA regimen are based on political goals to restrict abortion services, not efficacy or patient safety."

Commentary Offers Suggestions To Improve Clinician Training on LARC Methods

February 26, 2015

In JAMA Pediatrics, experts in pediatric and adolescent medicine address barriers to clinician training in the provision of long-acting reversible contraceptives to adolescent patients. They offer several recommendations for improving LARC training among pediatric and adolescent medicine residents and fellows, including development of a standardized curriculum and expanded opportunities for trainees to obtain clinical experience with administering LARC methods to adolescent patients.

Study: Mobile Applications Can Enhance Contraceptive Counseling

February 26, 2015

Researchers developed a mobile application that offered comprehensive, medically accurate information on contraception and conducted a study examining how the application compared with in-person contraceptive counseling. The researchers found that the application did not adversely affect contraceptive uptake, and they suggested physicians use it "as an adjunct health education material" to supplement in-person consultations and save time.

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