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A Medical Record Linkage Analysis of Abortion Underreporting


Udry, J. Richard; Gaughan, Monica; Schwingl, Pamela J.; & Berg, Bea J. van den (1996). A Medical Record Linkage Analysis of Abortion Underreporting. Family Planning Perspectives, 28((5)), 228-231.


Inaccuracy in women's reports of their abortion histories affects many areas of interest to reproductive health professionals and researchers. The identification of characteristics that affect the accuracy of reporting is essential for the improvement of data collection methods. A comparison of the medical records of 104 American women aged 27-30 in 1990-1991 with their self-reported abortion histories revealed that 19% of these women failed to report one or more abortions. Results of logistic regression analysis indicate that nonwhite women were 3.3 times as likely as whites to underreport. With each additional year that had elapsed since the first recorded abortion, women became somewhat more likely to underreport (odds ratio of 1.3), while each additional year of a woman's education slightly decreased the likelihood of underreporting (odds ratio of 0.7).

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Family Planning Perspectives


Udry, J. Richard
Gaughan, Monica
Schwingl, Pamela J.
Berg, Bea J. van den