The STress-And-Coping suppoRT Intervention (START) for Chinese Women Undergoing Abortion: A Randomized Controlled Trial Protocol

Na Wang, Xiu Zhu, Jenny Gamble, Elizabeth Elder, Jyai Allen, Debra K. Creedy

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Background: Although undergoing an abortion is stressful for most women, little attention has been given to their psychological wellbeing. This protocol aims to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and primary effects of a complex intervention to promote positive coping behaviors and alleviate depression symptoms among Chinese women who have undergone an abortion. Methods: A two-arm randomized controlled trial design will be used. Participants will be recruited at their first appointment with the abortion clinic and randomly allocated to receive either the Stress-And-Coping suppoRT (START) intervention (in addition to standard abortion care) or standard care only. All participants will be followed-up at two-and six-weeks post-abortion. Approval has been granted by local and university ethics committees. This research was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship. Discussion: The results will assist refinement and further evaluations of the START intervention, contribute to improved abortion care practices in China, and enrich the evidence on improving women’s psychological well-being following abortion in China. Trial registration: Registered at the Chinese Clinical ChiCTR2100046101. Date of registration: 4 May 2021.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6611
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Funding: The first author is supported by a Griffith University International Postgraduate Research Scholarship. The sponsor has no involvement in making decisions on the design, conduction, or reporting of the trial.


  • abortion
  • complex intervention
  • coping
  • mental health
  • psychological wellbeing
  • randomized controlled trial
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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