Utah state law requires a 72-hour mandatory delay between attending a face-to-face abortion information visit and the abortion procedure itself. Utah has nine clinics where patients can attend information visits in person, but only two clinics that provide abortion care. In the predominantly rural state, many people travel over 100 miles one-way to get to a clinic.
In January 2015, to ease the travel burdens on patients, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Utah (PPAU) began offering the option of completing the state-mandated abortion information visit by videoconference. ANSIRH’s Utah Telemedicine Evaluation Project (UTEP) study sought to explore the experiences of people who use telemedicine to attend state-mandated information visits in Utah.
Researchers used qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the differences between in-clinic and telemedicine information sessions in the following areas:
Demographic differences of the patients choosing each method
Patient satisfaction with each method
Reasons why patients choose each method
Patients experiences with each method
Telemedicine visits may help minimize the burdens of cost, travel, and time on patients.