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Women’s experience of episiotomy: a qualitative study from China

He, Siyuan, Jiang, Hong, Qian, Xu and Garner, Paul ORCID: (2020) 'Women’s experience of episiotomy: a qualitative study from China'. BMJ Open, Vol 10, Issue 7, e033354.

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Objective: To describe women’s experience of episiotomy in urban China. Design: This is a semistructured, indepth interview with women after episiotomy. We analysed transcriptions using thematic analysis in Chinese. Emerging themes were debated in English to finalise interpretation. Setting: Two community health centres and four hospitals in Shanghai, China. Participants: Purposive sampling of 30 postpartum women who had experienced episiotomy; 25 were primiparous and 4 had deliveries by forceps. We interviewed health providers to complement the data. Results: We identified four main themes: (1) women’s views of the procedure vary considerably; (2) pain interferes with daily life for weeks; (3) long-term anxiety is a consequence for some, described as a ‘psychological shadow’; and (4) societal norms assume women will not complain. Conclusion: Women receive little information in advance about episiotomy, yet the procedure has a wide range of physical and psychological consequences. This includes long-term anxiety about the damage done to them as women.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 310 Maternal welfare
WQ Obstetrics > Labor > WQ 300 General works
WQ Obstetrics > WQ 500 Postnatal care
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2020 09:47
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2020 16:06


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