UWS research to explore women's experiences of prenatal screening

Date: 23/11/2009

Australian women are invited to participate in a University of Western Sydney study which will explore their experiences of medical screening and test procedures during pregnancy.

Dr Alphia Possamai-Inesedy, from the UWS School of Social Sciences, says women are constantly bombarded with the supposed risks and hazards that surround their pregnancy and the impending birth of their child.

"To allay some of their fears and anxieties, expectant couples and medical professionals are increasingly taking a 'risk conscious' approach to pregnancy," says Dr Possamai-Inesedy.

"This approach involves a wide range of medical procedures, including blood tests and ultrasounds which aim to detect any potential risks to the pregnancy as well as genetic birth defects."

Women who take part in the UWS study will be asked to participate in group discussions about their experience of prenatal screening tests.

The aim of the group discussions will be to explore how women come to the decision to have the tests, and how they cope with any potential concerns that are raised.

Also to be explored is whether the prenatal tests succeed in allaying women's fears toward their pregnancy, or if the experience only serves to create more anxiety.

The results of the study will be used as a means of helping other women through their pregnancies.

To participate in the UWS study, contact Dr Alphia Possamai-Inesedy on: alphia.possamai@uws.edu.au



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