In much of Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, abortion is legally restricted, and abortion providers experience stigma and legal jeopardy. The Providers Share Workshop group intervention has been shown to reduce provider stigma in the United States, but has not been evaluated in other settings.
In 2014–2015, the Providers Share Workshop was adapted and piloted among 59 abortion caregivers from three Sub-Saharan African countries and 93 caregivers from seven Latin American countries. Survey data collected before, directly following and six months after each workshop measured stigma, attitudes, and legal safety and advocacy engagement, using original items and adapted scales. Univariate analyses and baseline pairwise correlations were used to measure changes in outcomes over time, and between demographic characteristics and outcomes. Mixed-effects linear regressions and multivariable models controlling for demographics were used to assess changes in outcomes over time.
Six months after workshop participation, total abortion stigma had decreased among caregivers in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Latin America (beta coefficients, -0.2 and -0.4, respectively). Unfavorable attitudes had decreased in Africa (-0.2) but not in Latin America, where attitudes were favorable to start; emotional exhaustion and depersonalization also had decreased in Africa (-2.9 and -1.2), and legal safety had increased (0.8). Increased total abortion stigma was negatively associated with legal safety, in both Africa and Latin America (-1.9 and -0.6), and with legal advocacy in Africa (-1.5).
The Providers Share Workshop is a promising intervention to support the abortion care workforce in Sub-Saharan African and Latin American settings.