Offering antenatal sickle cell and thalassaemia screening to pregnant women in primary care: a qualitative study of women’s experiences and expectations of participation
Article first published online: 3 MAR 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 15, Issue 2, pages 115–125, June 2012
How to Cite
Tsianakas, V., Atkin, K., Calnan, M. W., Dormandy, E. and Marteau, T. M. (2012), Offering antenatal sickle cell and thalassaemia screening to pregnant women in primary care: a qualitative study of women’s experiences and expectations of participation. Health Expectations, 15: 115–125. doi: 10.1111/j.1369-7625.2011.00669.x
- Issue published online: 23 MAY 2012
- Article first published online: 3 MAR 2011
- Accepted for publication 7 January 2011
- ethnic groups;
- genetic screening;
- sickle cell;
Objective To describe the acceptability to women of being offered antenatal Sickle cell and Thalassaemia (SC&T) screening in primary and secondary care at the visit to confirm pregnancy; and to explore the implications of their views for participating in decisions about their health care.
Methods Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty-one ethnically diverse women registered at twenty-five general practices in two English inner-city Primary Care Trusts. The material was analysed thematically, using the method of constant comparison.
Results Women generally welcomed the opportunity of early diagnosis, although they expected screening to confirm they were carrying a healthy child. Women felt general practitioners did not present antenatal screening as a choice, but they did not necessarily see this as a problem. Doctors were believed to be acting out of concern for the women’s well being.
Conclusions Women were generally positive about being offered screening in primary care at the first visit to confirm pregnancy. To this extent it was acceptable to them, although this was largely informed by assumptions associated with being a ‘good mother’ rather than a straightforward enactment of informed choice, assumed by health-care policy. This represents the context in which women participate in decisions about their health care.