Comparative analysis of knowledge, attitudes and perceptions about induced abortions among medical and non-medical students of Karachi
Objective: To determine the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions regarding induced abortions among university students of Karachi and compare these aspects among medical and non-medical students.STUDY Design: Cross sectional opinion survey.Methods: The study is a cross sectional opinion survey of medical and non-medical students from four educational institutions of Karachi using a pretested questionnaire.Results: Of the 381 students interviewed, 201 were medical and 180 were non-medical. More medical students were aware of the correct definition of induced abortion. An encouraging finding was the awareness of our study population about the only legally acceptable circumstance for induced abortion in Pakistan, that is, if conceptus is a risk to maternal health (p<0.001). More medical students cited complications that were technical like uterine perforation (p<0.001), cervical trauma (p<0.001), DIC (p<0.001), and sepsis (p<0.001). More medical students thought induced abortion to be a health issue (p=0.001) as compared to non-medical students. Most of the medical students felt the need to modify Pakistan's law regarding abortion (p=0.008) especially for fetal anomalies (13.9%) and rape (7%).CONCLUSION: Though medical students were more knowledgeable about induced abortions as compared to the non-medical population, there is a need to improve awareness regarding induced and unsafe abortions and their consequences.