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A metasynthesis of risk perception in women with high risk pregnancies

Lee, S., Ayers, S. & Holden, D. (2014). A metasynthesis of risk perception in women with high risk pregnancies. Midwifery, 30(4), pp. 403-411. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2013.04.010


Introduction: Risk perception in women with high risk pregnancies affects their decisions about perinatal care and is of interest to anyone involved in the care of pregnant women. This paper provides a metasynthesis of qualitative studies of risk perception in women with high risk pregnancies.

Methods: A systematic search of eight electronic databases was conducted. Additional papers were obtained through searching references of identified articles. Six studies were identified that reported qualitative research into risk perception in relation to high risk pregnancy. A metasynthesis was developed to describe and interpret the studies.

Findings: The synthesis resulted in the identification of five themes: determinants of risk perception; not seeing it the way others do; normality versus risk; if the infant is ok, I׳m ok; managing risk.

Conclusions: This metasynthesis suggests women at high risk during pregnancy use multiple sources of information to determine their risk status. It shows women are aware of the risks posed by their pregnancies but do not perceive risk in the same way as healthcare professionals. They will take steps to ensure the health of themselves and their infants but these may not include following all medical recommendations.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Midwifery. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Midwifery Volume 30, Issue 4, April 2014, Pages 403–411,
Publisher Keywords: High risk pregnancy, Risk perception, Risk management, Communication
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
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