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Women’s attitudes, beliefs and values about tests, and management for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Shenaz Ahmed, Alina Brewer, Eleni Z. Tsigas, Caryn Rogers, Lucy Chappell, Jenny Hewison

Original languageEnglish
Article number665
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Issue number1
PublishedDec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The National Institute for Health Research and The Peter Joseph Pappas Fund provided financial support for the study. These funders had no role in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data or in writing the manuscript. Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s). Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors


Background: Advances in research suggest the possibility of improving routine clinical care for preeclampsia using screening (predictive) and diagnostic tests. The views of women should be incorporated into the way in which such tests are used. Therefore, we explored the views of women with experience of preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders in pregnancy (HDPs) about predictive and diagnostic tests, treatment risks, and expectant management. Method: Eight hundred and seven women with experience of preeclampsia or other HDPs completed an online questionnaire. These women were participants in the Preeclampsia Registry (USA). The questionnaire contained 22 items to elicit women’s views about predictive tests (n = 8); diagnostic tests (n = 5); treatment risks (n = 7), and expectant management (n = 2). An optional text box allowed participants to add qualitative open-ended comments. Levels of agreement with the statements were reported descriptively for the sample as a whole, and a preliminary investigation of the role of lived experience in shaping women’s views was conducted by comparing subgroups within the sample based on time of HDP delivery (preterm/term). The qualitative data provided in the optional text box was analysed using inductive thematic analysis to examine participants’ responses. Results: Women generally favored predictive and diagnostic testing, although not because they would opt for termination of pregnancy. Participants generally disagreed that taking daily low-dose aspirin (LDA) would make them nervous, with disagreement significantly higher in the preterm delivery subgroup. A high proportion of participants, especially in the preterm delivery subgroup, would take LDA throughout pregnancy. The majority of participants would be more worried about the possibility of preeclampsia than about the risks of treatments to their health (60%), and that proportion was significantly higher in the preterm delivery subgroup. There were no differences between subgroups in the views expressed about expectant management, although opinion was divided in both groups. Overall, most participants opted to put the baby’s interests first. Conclusion: Women with experience of hypertensive disorders were enthusiastic about improved predictive and diagnostic tests. However, varied views about treatment options and expectant management suggest the need for a shared decision-making tool to enable healthcare professionals to support pregnant women’s decision-making to maximize the utility of these tests and interventions.

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