Informed choice for users of health services: views on ultrasonography leaflets of women in early pregnancy, midwives, and ultrasonographers

S Oliver, L Rajan, H Turner, A Oakley, V Entwistle, I Watt, T A Sheldon, J Rosser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

With the aim of promoting the informed choice of pregnant women, staff and pregnant women at two urban hospitals were offered leaflets summarising the best available evidence about the effectiveness of routine ultrasonography in early pregnancy. Ultrasonographers doubted the credibility of the evidence and were concerned that the leaflets would raise women's anxiety, reduce uptake of scans, disrupt hospital organisation, and reinforce media messages about the poor safety record of ultrasonography. Midwives thought that the leaflets would inform women, help them to talk about their care with health professionals, and help them to get better care. Women were shocked at some of the contents but thought that it was appropriate to include both advantages and disadvantages of routine scanning in the leaflet. This case study highlights the resistance of some health professionals to evidence based health care; underlying conflicts with the principle of professional autonomy; concern that informed choice may create anxiety; and professional and organisational barriers to allowing informed choice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1251-3
Number of pages3
JournalBMJ (Clinical research ed.)
Volume313
Issue number7067
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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