The role of religion in decision-making on antenatal screening of congenital anomalies: A qualitative study amongst Muslim Turkish origin immigrants

Janneke T. Gitsels-van der Wal, Judith Manniën, Mohammed Ghaly, Pieternel S. Verhoeven, Eileen K. Hutton, Hans S. Reinders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: to explore what role religious beliefs of pregnant Muslim women play in their decision-making on antenatal screening, particularly regarding congenital abnormalities and termination, and whether their interpretations of the religious doctrines correspond to the main sources of Islam. Design: qualitative pilot study using in-depth interviews with pregnant Muslim women. Setting: one midwifery practice in a medium-sized city near Amsterdam participated in the study. Participants: 10 pregnant Muslim women of Turkish origin who live in a high density immigrant area and who attended primary midwives for antenatal care were included in the study. Data collection and data analysis: to explore the role of religion in decision-making on antenatal screening tests, a topic list was constructed, including four subjects: being a (practising) Muslim, the view on unborn life, the view on disabled life and the view on termination. To analyse the interviews, open and axial coding based on the Grounded Theory was used and descriptive and analytical themes were identified and interpreted. Findings: all 10 interviewees stated that their faith played a role in their decision-making on antenatal screening, specific to the combined test. They did not consider congenital anomalies as a problem and did not consider termination to be an option in case of a disabled fetus. However, the Islamic jurisprudence considers that termination is allowed if the fetus has serious abnormalities, but only before 19 weeks plus one day of gestation. Key conclusions: religious convictions play a role regarding antenatal screening in pregnant Muslim women of Turkish origin. The interviewees did not consider a termination in case of an affected child. Women were unaware that within Islamic tradition there is the possibility of termination if a fetus has serious anomalies. Incomplete knowledge of religious doctrines may be influencing both decisions of antenatal screening and diagnostic tests uptake and of terminating a pregnancy for fetuses with serious anomalies. Implications for practise: counsellors should be aware of the role of religious beliefs in the decision-making process on antenatal screening tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-302
Number of pages6
JournalMidwifery
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Islam
Religion
Prenatal Diagnosis
Decision Making
Pregnant Women
Fetus
Midwifery
Interviews
Pregnancy
Prenatal Care
Jurisprudence
Routine Diagnostic Tests

Keywords

  • Antenatal diagnosis
  • Combined test
  • Congenital anomalies
  • Islam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery

Cite this

The role of religion in decision-making on antenatal screening of congenital anomalies : A qualitative study amongst Muslim Turkish origin immigrants. / Gitsels-van der Wal, Janneke T.; Manniën, Judith; Ghaly, Mohammed; Verhoeven, Pieternel S.; Hutton, Eileen K.; Reinders, Hans S.

In: Midwifery, Vol. 30, No. 3, 03.2014, p. 297-302.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gitsels-van der Wal, Janneke T. ; Manniën, Judith ; Ghaly, Mohammed ; Verhoeven, Pieternel S. ; Hutton, Eileen K. ; Reinders, Hans S. / The role of religion in decision-making on antenatal screening of congenital anomalies : A qualitative study amongst Muslim Turkish origin immigrants. In: Midwifery. 2014 ; Vol. 30, No. 3. pp. 297-302.
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