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Ultrasound as a technology of reassurance?: how pregnant women and health care professionals articulate ultrasound reassurance and its limitations

Thomas, Gareth M.; Roberts, Julie; Griffiths, Frances E.

Authors

Gareth M. Thomas thomasg23@cf.ac.uk

Julie Roberts julie.roberts@nottingham.ac.uk

Frances E. Griffiths f.e.griffiths@warwick.ac.uk



Abstract

The premise that ultrasound technologies provide reassurance for pregnant women is well-rehearsed. However, there has been little research about how this reassurance is articulated and understood by both expectant mothers and health care professionals. In this article, we draw on two qualitative UK studies to explore the salience of ultrasound reassurance to women's pregnancy experiences whilst highlighting issues around articulation and silence. Specifically, we capture how expectant parents express a general need for reassurance and how visualisation and the conduct of professionals have a crucial role to play in accomplishing a sense of reassurance. We also explore how professionals have ambiguities about the relationship between ultrasound and reassurance, and how they subsequently articulate reassurance to expectant mothers. By bringing two studies together, we take a broad perspectival view of how gaps and silences within the discourse of ultrasound reassurance leave the claims made for ultrasound as a technology of reassurance unchallenged. Finally, we explore the implications this can have for women's experiences of pregnancy and health care professionals’ practices.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Sociology of Health and Illness
Print ISSN 0141-9889
Electronic ISSN 1467-9566
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Thomas, G. M., Roberts, J., & Griffiths, F. E. (in press). Ultrasound as a technology of reassurance?: how pregnant women and health care professionals articulate ultrasound reassurance and its limitations. Sociology of Health and Illness, doi:10.1111/1467-9566.12554
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12554
Keywords Patient-professional interaction; Pregnancy; Prenatal care; Reassurance; Risk; Ultrasound
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9566.12554/full
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Thomas, G. M., Roberts, J. and Griffiths, F. E. (2017), Ultrasound as a technology of reassurance? How pregnant women and health care professionals articulate ultrasound reassurance and its limitations. Sociol Health Illn. , which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wi...1/1467-9566.12554/full. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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