Perspectives on interpersonal care among people who obtain abortions through clinical and accompaniment models in Argentina

May 2022


Introduction: Little is known about how people who have abortions describe high-quality interpersonal care in Argentina. This qualitative study aimed to understand preferences and priorities in their interactions with providers.

Study design: We conducted 24 in-depth interviews with people who obtained abortions at a comprehensive reproductive health clinic or with support from a feminist accompaniment group in Buenos Aires and Neuquén, Argentina. We iteratively coded transcripts using a thematic analysis approach based on interpersonal domains pre- sent in current quality of care frameworks.

Results: Participants described high-quality abortion care as feeling acompañamiento and contención from their providers – terms that imply receiving kind, caring, compassionate and emotionally supportive care throughout their abortion. They described four key elements of interpersonal interactions: attentive communication from providers and accompaniers, clear and understandable information provision, non-judgmental support, and individualized options for pain management.

Conclusions: People obtaining abortions in Argentina consistently identified receiving compassionate and sup- portive care throughout an abortion as a key aspect of care. The findings have implications for incorporating people’s perspectives in the development of care guidelines, training of providers, and monitoring and improving of services. This is particularly important as the government of Argentina prepares to expand legal access to abortion.

Keywords: Abortion, Accompaniment, Reproductive health, Person-centred care, Quality of care, Argentina