Adolescent abortion in 11 high-income countries including Australia: towards the establishment of a minimum data set

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2019, 43 (6), pp. 577 - 581
Issue Date:
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© 2019 The Authors Objective: A major public health challenge in Australia is the lack of national adolescent abortion data. This descriptive study identifies, collates and describes publicly available adolescent abortion data in high-income countries including Australia, to describe trends over 10 years and provide recommendations for strengthening data collection. Methods: Data were extracted from publicly available government sources that met inclusion criteria. All relevant adolescent abortion data from 2007 to 2017 were extracted from datasets and analysed. Results: Eleven high-income countries were included. Incidence data for the adolescent population were available for all countries and states. Incidence of adolescent abortion over 10 years shows a downward trend in all countries. Gestational age at time of abortion was the second-most available variable. The level and type of data across all countries varied; there was a lack of age range standardisation and aggregation of gestational weeks differed, making comparisons difficult. Conclusion: A minimum data set of standardised abortion information will enable appropriate adolescent abortion policies and services to be developed that are informed by high quality, up-to-date intelligence. Implications for public health: Availability of data affects government’s ability to adequately monitor national adolescent health outcomes and plan and evaluate appropriate reproductive health policy and services.
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