Study Looks at Abortion Rates With No-Test Telehealth Screening, Meds Mailing

Similar rates of complete abortion seen for no-test screening and mailing of mifepristone when compared with in-person care
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

MONDAY, July 8, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Access to medication abortion using history-based (no-test) eligibility assessment, including through telehealth, and mailing of mifepristone lead to similar rates of complete abortion as in-person care with ultrasonography, according to a study published online June 24 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Lauren J. Ralph, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined whether medication abortion with no-test eligibility assessment and mailing of medications is as effective as in-person care with ultrasonography in a prospective, observational study with a noninferiority analysis. Four abortion-providing organizations in Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Virginia, and Washington were included. The study groups reflected the model of care selected by patients and clinicians and included no-test (telehealth) eligibility assessment and medication mailing (no test + mail), no-test eligibility assessment and medication pickup (no-test + pickup), and in-person with ultrasonography (228, 119, and 238 patients, respectively).

Outcome data were available for 91.8 percent of participants. The researchers found that overall effectiveness was 94.4 and 93.3 percent in the no-test + mail group and the in-person group with ultrasonography, respectively, in adjusted models, meeting the prespecified 5 percent noninferiority margin. Serious adverse events included overnight hospitalization, blood transfusion, and emergency surgery and were reported by 1.1 percent of the participants.

"Expansion of telehealth and no-test or history-based models offers a safe and effective, as well as urgently needed, way to overcome at least some of the logistical and geographic barriers to accessing abortion," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed ties to Planned Parenthood.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

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