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Health Promot Perspect. 2017;7(3): 117-123.
doi: 10.15171/hpp.2017.22
PMID: 28695098
PMCID: PMC5497361
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Systematic Review

A systematic review of the research evidence on cross-country features of illegal abortions

Farideh Aghaei 1, Abdolreza Shaghaghi 2*, Parvin Sarbakhsh 3

1 Health Education & Promotion Department, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
2 Medical Education Research Centre, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
3 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
*Corresponding Author: Email: shaghaghir@tbzmed.ac.ir

Abstract

Background: There are contrasting debates about abortions and prohibitory regulations posed serious public health challenges especially in underdeveloped and developing countries. Due to paucity of the empirical evidences this study was conducted to explore the existent cumulative knowledge with special focus on the applied methodology. Methods: A comprehensive review of published articles from January 1995 to December 2015 was performed. Several databases including: Embase, PubMed, Cochrane and also databasesof the Iranian medical journals were searched using combinations of relevant Medical Subject Headings (MeSH terms) and their equivalents, i.e., induced abortion, embryotomy, criminal abortion and illegal abortion. The STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement for appraisal of the cross-sectional studies and Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) checklist for the qualitative reports were utilized. After removal of duplicates and irrelevant publications 36 articles remained for data analysis. Results: A wide heterogeneity was observed in the utilized methodology with no standard data collection tool. Face to face interview and self-administered questionnaire were the most common reported data collection/tool respectively. Married and unemployed women of 26-30 years old age group with low socioeconomic backgrounds were the most typical illegal abortees in the included studies. Conclusion: Despite limitation in accessing all relevant publications and including only those reports written in English or Persian languages, the accumulated knowledge might be applicable to develop a potentially inclusive data collection tool and hence, improve the quality of data collection and/or application of a more robust study design in future investigations.

Citation: Aghaei F, Shaghaghi A, Sarbaksh P. A systematic review of the research evidence on cross-country features of illegal abortions.Health Promot Perspect. 2017;7(3):117-123. doi: 10.15171/hpp.2017.22.
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Submitted: 31 Oct 2016
Revision: 04 Dec 2016
Accepted: 04 Dec 2016
ePublished: 14 Jun 2017
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