An anthropological analysis of the perspectives of Somali women in the West and their obstetric care providers on caeserean birth

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An anthropological analysis of the perspectives of Somali women in the West and their obstetric care providers on caeserean birth

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title An anthropological analysis of the perspectives of Somali women in the West and their obstetric care providers on caeserean birth
Author(s) Essén, Birgitta ; Binder, Pauline ; Johnsdotter, Sara
Date 2011
English abstract
We explored the perceptions of 39 Somali women and 62 obstetric care providers in London in relation to caesarean birth, as borne out of a paradox we recognised from evidence-based information about the Somali group. Socio-cultural factors potentially leading to adverse obstetric outcome were identified using in-depth and focus group interviews with semistructured, open-ended questions. A cultural anthropology model, the emic/etic model, was used for analysis. Somali women expressed fear and anxiety throughout the pregnancy and identified strategies to avoid caesarean section (CS). There was widespread, yet anecdotal, awareness among obstetric care providers about negative Somali attitudes. Caesarean avoidance and refusal were expressed as being highly stressful among providers, but also as being the responsibility of the women and families. For women, avoiding or refusing caesarean was based on a rational choice to avoid death and coping with adverse outcome relied on fatalistic attitudes. Motivation for the development of preventive actions among both groups was not described, which lends weight to the vast distinction and lack of correspondence in identified perspectives between Somali women and UK obstetric providers. Early booking and identification of women likely to avoid caesarean is proposed, as is the development of preventive strategies to address CS avoidance.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/0167482X.2010.547966 (link to publisher's fulltext)
Host/Issue Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology;1
Volume 32
ISSN 0167-482X
Pages 10-18
821-8
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) caesarean refusal
emergency caesarean
pregnancy strategies
immigrant
maternal care guidelines
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/12571 (link to this page)

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