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Knowledge and attitudes of Irish GPs towards abortion following its legalisation: a cross-sectional study

Overview of attention for article published in BJGP Open, December 2019
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (77th percentile)

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Knowledge and attitudes of Irish GPs towards abortion following its legalisation: a cross-sectional study
Published in
BJGP Open, December 2019
DOI 10.3399/bjgpopen19x101669
Pubmed ID

O'Connor, Raymond, O'Doherty, Jane, O'Mahony, Michael, Spain, Eimear, Raymond O'Connor, Jane O'Doherty, Michael O'Mahony, Eimear Spain


In May 2018, the Irish Constitution was changed following a referendum allowing termination of pregnancy by abortion. It is envisaged that the majority of terminations will be by medical abortion and will take place in general practice before 12 weeks gestation. To elicit attitudes and level of preparedness of Irish GPs to provide medical abortion services. Cross-sectional study of 222 GPs who were associated with the University of Limerick Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) and GP training programme. An anonymous online questionnaire was distributed via email. Reminders were sent 2 and 4 weeks later. The response rate was 57.2% (n = 127/222). Of the responders, 105 (82.7%) had no training in this area, with only 4 (3.1%) indicating that they had sufficient training. Nearly all responders (n = 119, 93.7%) were willing to share abortion information with patients. Just under half of responders (n = 61, 48.0%) would be willing to prescribe abortion pills, with 47 (37.0%) unwilling to do so. Only 53 (41.7%) responders believed that provision of abortion services should be part of general practice, with 52 (40.9%) saying that it should not. As to whether doctors should be entitled to a conscientious objection but should also be obliged to refer the patient, 92 (72.4%) responders agreed. Over two-thirds of responders (n = 89, 70.1%) felt that necessary patient support services are not currently available. There is a lack of training and a considerable level of unwillingness to participate in this process among Irish GPs. There is also a perceived lack of patient support services for women experiencing unwanted pregnancy. It is incumbent upon state and professional bodies to address these issues.

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Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 9. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 17 December 2019.
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from BJGP Open
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Altmetric has tracked 14,388,923 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 85th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 187 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 11.4. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 59% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 320,886 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 77% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 4 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one.