Information for participants

Why take part in the study?

We want to find out about the experiences of women in Scotland who request a termination when they are at or over 16 weeks pregnant. By talking to women we hope to learn what the reasons are behind women seeking a later termination, what it's like to have to travel to England for the procedure, and what the experiences and reasons are for women who do not go on to have a termination. By talking to our researcher you can help to shape service delivery and future research in this important area.

Why is the study important?

Terminating a pregnancy can be a difficult time in a woman's life, and termination of pregnancy is, in a general, an emotive topic. It is important that we understand the real, everyday experiences of women who have had - or presented for and decided not to have - a later termination, in order to inform the provision of appropriate services in the future.

What’s involved?

If you are eligible to take part in the study you will have been approached by a nurse when you attended one of the participating sexual health centres. If this is the case, we would like you to take part in an interview. You can select the day/time most suitable for you in the next few weeks. If you agree to take part our researcher, Carrie Purcell, will call you to arrange it. She will call you from the dedicated study mobile number, and will only give the name of the study (WELTOP) if and when she is sure she is speaking to you.

After completing the interview, you will be offered a £25 gift voucher as a thank you for your time. We will also refund any travel expenses you incur.

Do I have to have had a termination to take part?

No, you do not have to have a termination to take part in an interview. We are interested in finding out what women who do and do not proceed with a termination have to say. You will be asked about your experiences of pregnancy and abortion and of reproductive health service use.

What happens to the information I give?

The information you give will be stored securely and will only be seen by the research team. The information will be written up by the research team (Carrie and Lisa) and compared with the experiences of other women. The findings of the study will be written up in a report and may be published in research journals. Your comments will be made anonymous and we will not use your name at any time. Your personal contact information will be destroyed at the end of the study after the research summary has been sent out. If you would like to be sent a summary of our findings, we can arrange this at the end of your interview. Interview recordings will be held securely in line with MRC policy (currently for 10 years after the end of the study).

Is the study confidential?

Yes. Any information that is collected about you during the course of the study will be kept strictly confidential. We will not use your name in any reports or presentations of the study or reveal that you were interviewed. Your name and any other personal information that might identify you will be removed from the interview recordings and transcripts. Anonymised information from your interview may be made available to other bona fide researchers in the future for further research, but this would be overseen by the MRC in accordance with their strict rules of confidentiality. If you do not wish this to happen, you can indicate this at the appropriate point on the consent form which you will complete before the interview.

Do I have to take part?

No. You do not have to take part in this study if you do not wish to. You can also withdraw from the study at any time, without giving us a reason for doing so.

What happens next?

If you agreed to take part in an interview, the nurse or doctor you spoke to earlier will have asked you to complete a consent form agreeing to this. You will also have been asked for your name and telephone number or email address and your preferred day/time to be contacted. The forms you completed will have been sealed in separate envelopes and posted to the MRC Unit. When Carrie receives these, she will contact you to arrange the interview.

The interview will take place at your choice of location. Carrie can come to your home or another private location or you can come to the MRC Unit in Glasgow or the clinic you have already attended. If you prefer, the interview can be conducted by telephone. All of this can be arranged when Carrie contacts you. It will take 60-90 minutes to complete the interview. If you agree, it will be audio-recorded so that we get an accurate account of what you say.

What if I said no or wasn't sure at the time, but now I'd like to take part?

If you said you were unsure or would like more time to think about taking part, the nurse will have given you an information sheet, consent form and contact form to take home with you. If you now wish to take part, you can return these to us in the postage-paid envelope provided. Remember, you are still free to change your mind and withdraw from the study at any time.

If you prefer, you can use the confidential contact form here to request an interview or further information.

If you have any further questions please see the FAQs page or contact the research team via the confidential email contact form.