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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: How personal experiences feature in women’s accounts of use of information for decisions about antenatal diagnostic testing for foetal abnormality
Authors: France, Emma
Wyke, Sally
Ziebland, Sue B
Entwistle, Vikki A
Hunt, Kate
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Keywords: prenatal diagnosis
Personal experience
decision making
reproductive behaviour
patient decision making
health knowledge
Issue Date: Mar-2011
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: France E, Wyke S, Ziebland SB, Entwistle VA & Hunt K (2011) How personal experiences feature in women’s accounts of use of information for decisions about antenatal diagnostic testing for foetal abnormality, Social Science and Medicine, 72 (5), pp. 755-762.
Abstract: There has been a striking growth in the availability of health-related information based on personal experience in recent years and internet users are often drawn towards other people’s stories about their health. Accounts of other people’s experiences might convey social and emotional information that is not otherwise available but little is known about how it is used or the implications of its use in practice. This paper examines how people refer to information about other people’s experiences when accounting for decisions about antenatal diagnostic testing for foetal abnormality. We conducted a secondary analysis of 37 qualitative interviews undertaken across the UK with 36 women and nine of their male partners (eight couples were interviewed together) who talked about diagnostic testing for foetal abnormality in 55 pregnancies. When describing their decisions, respondents referred to examples of knowledge gleaned from their own and other individuals’ experiences as well as information based on biomedical or clinical-epidemiological research (usually about the probabilities of having a child affected by health problems or the probability of diagnostic tests causing miscarriage). Both forms of knowledge were employed in people’s accounts to illustrate the legitimacy and internal coherence of decisions taken. The analysis demonstrates the personally idiosyncratic ways that people reflect on and incorporate different types of information to add meaning to abstract ideas about risk, to imagine the consequences for their own lives and to help them to make sense of the decisions they faced.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: Published in Social Science & Medicine by Elsevier. Social Science & Medicine, Volume 72, Issue 5, March 2011, pp. 755 - 762.; This is the peer reviewed version of this article.; NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Social Science & Medicine. 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 Social Science & Medicine, VOL 72, ISSUE 5, (March 2011). DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.11.031.
Notes: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research Service (NIHR), or the Department of Health.
Affiliation: HS Research - Stirling
University of Oxford
University of Aberdeen
University of Glasgow

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