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

Thomas, Gareth M. and Roberts, Julie and Griffiths, Frances E. (2017) Ultrasound as a technology of reassurance?: how pregnant women and health care professionals articulate ultrasound reassurance and its limitations. Sociology of Health and Illness . ISSN 1467-9566

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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.

Item Type: Article
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.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9566.12554/full. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Keywords: Patient-professional interaction; Pregnancy; Prenatal care; Reassurance; Risk; Ultrasound
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Identification Number: 10.1111/1467-9566.12554
Depositing User: Roberts, Julie
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2017 12:56
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2017 18:38
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/41616

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