Ultrasound screening during pregnancy in Iran: Womens' expectations, experiences and number of scans

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Objective: to determine the number of ultrasound scans received by Iranian mothers during pregnancy and the relationship between scanning and background factors, and to describe the mothers' expectations and experiences of ultrasound scanning. Design: descriptive survey. Setting: a hospital related to the Social Security Organisation of Urmia City in Iran. Participants: over a six-month period, all mothers attending postpartum care and who met the inclusion criteria (n=654) were interviewed two to three days post partum, and asked to complete a questionnaire containing defined closed-and open-ended questions. Findings: the mean number of ultrasound scans received by each woman during her latest pregnancy was 5.9. None of the participants received written information about the scanning procedure. For 91.1% (n=596) of the women, the most important reason for undergoing the scan was to be assured of their infant's health. However, the majority of women were not shown the monitor screen during any of their scans. The main reasons given for feeling happy after a scan were discovering the infant's gender and assurance about the infant's health. Most women overestimated the diagnostic power of ultrasound scanning. Few mothers reported negative feelings towards scanning, but more than half of the mothers indicated that they would like to see changes in the scanning procedure. Key conclusions and implications for practice: the quality of the information offered prior to scanning and the communication between staff and mothers should be improved. The number of scans should be decreased to be in accordance with the official Iranian public health-care guidelines. Although most women viewed ultrasound as being beneficial, it is essential to offer women appropriate information about the limitations of ultrasound in order to discourage unreasonable expectations and demands. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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Sidor (från-till)24-29
Utgåva nummer1
StatusPublished - 2012
Peer review utfördJa