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Down syndrome screening information in midwifery practices in the Netherlands: strategies to integrate biomedical information

Abstract : The aim of this qualitative study was to analyse counselling with regard to prenatal screening in midwifery consultations in the Netherlands where a national prenatal screening programme has only existed since 2007, after years of social and political debates. The methodology is based on in situ observations of 25 counselling consultations in four midwifery practices in two main cities in the Netherlands. The results of this study show that, since midwives are obliged to offer information on Down syndrome screening to all pregnant women (2007), they have to deal with the communication of medical screening information using biostatistical concepts to explain risks, calculations, probabilities and chromosomal anomalies. In order to avoid the risk of medicalization of their consultation, midwives develop strategies that allow them to integrate this new biomedical discourse while maintaining their low medicalized approach of midwife-led care. One of their main strategies is to switch from alarming' biomedical messages to reassuring words' in order to manage the anxiety induced by the information and to keep the control over their low medicalized consultation. They also tend to distance themselves from the obligation to talk about screening. The way midwives handle these counselling consultations allows them to respect their obligation to propose information, and to remain faithful to their struggle to protect the natural process of pregnancy as well as their professional autonomy.
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https://hal-cnrs.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03478930
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 10:33:09 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 3:57:28 AM

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Sophia Rosman. Down syndrome screening information in midwifery practices in the Netherlands: strategies to integrate biomedical information. Health, SAGE Publications, 2016, 20 (2), pp.94-109. ⟨10.1177/1363459314561695⟩. ⟨hal-03478930⟩

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