A systematic review of best practices for abortion care
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An abortion, be it induced or spontaneous, can be a traumatic experience in the life of a woman and her family. Women can use abortion as a method of family planning or to end an unwanted pregnancy. On the contrary there are women who wish to have children of their own, but experience spontaneous abortion or recurrent abortion. When women go through an abortion they may experience different dimensions of side effects and symptoms. The women may experience physical symptoms such as blood loss, pain and sepsis as well as psychological symptoms such as despair, depression and grief. Studies indicate that women who have abortions do not receive the care that they require and are in need of high quality care. There is a need for a systematic synthesis of the best available evidence regarding interventions for nursing practitioners. This can be used to inform practice. This research study aim to critically review and synthesise best available evidence regarding the best nursing practices for women who have an abortion. This was done by conducting a thorough step-by-step systematic review with the following objectives: to critically review available research evidence on abortion care and to synthesise best practices for abortion care provided by nurses. This study can provide nursing practitioners with the necessary information about the best available evidence regarding abortion care provided by nurses. The information can be used to increase and improve the nursing practitioner’s knowledge and to promote and enhance future questions and research. Through the step-by-step use of the systematic review after a thorough search and screening of potentially relevant studies on nurses providing abortion care according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, the critical appraisal and data extraction of nine final relevant studies could be used for data analysis and synthesis. Conclusion statements were drawn and later combined and synthesised, graded and evaluated to provide the current best available evidence. The research was evaluated, limitations identified and recommendations made for nursing practice, nursing education and nursing research. The overall conclusion that can be drawn is there is not enough sufficient evidence to demonstrate that abortion care such as contraceptive counselling and/or psychological follow-up care provided by nurses and/or midwives before and after an induced or spontaneous abortion is sufficient and effective in reducing recurrent abortions, reducing despair, depression and grief and improving psychological consequences and increasing contraceptive usage. More research must be done on abortion nursing care.
- Health Sciences 
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