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The Construal of Midwives by Pregnant Women with a Body Mass Index Greater Than or Equal to 30 kg/m2 (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2): A Repertory Grid Study

Hodgkinson, Emma L, Smith, Debbie M., Hare, Dougal J. and Wittkowski, Anja 2017. The Construal of Midwives by Pregnant Women with a Body Mass Index Greater Than or Equal to 30 kg/m2 (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2): A Repertory Grid Study. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy 24 (2) , pp. 392-400. 10.1002/cpp.2009

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Abstract

Objective To explore the construal of midwives by pregnant women with a body mass index greater than 30 kg/m2 (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2). Method Ten pregnant women with a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 were recruited from antenatal clinics at a maternity hospital in the North West of England. Each participant completed a repertory grid. The participants chose people to match roles including themselves, pregnant women, midwives of different BMIs and hypothetical elements. They also generated psychological constructs to describe them. Results Pregnant women with a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 construed themselves as vulnerable and self-conscious. Some women endorsed obesity-related stereotypes for themselves and felt responsible for their weight. The midwife with a BMI 18 < 30 kg/m2 was considered to be most similar to the ideal midwife, while the midwife with a BMI ≤ 18 kg/m2 was construed as having an undesirable interpersonal style. The midwife with a BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2 was often construed as sharing similar experiences to the pregnant women with a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2, such as struggling with the psychological consequences of a raised BMI. Some women construed the midwife with a BMI 30 < 40 kg/m2 in a positive way, whereas others viewed it as sharing similar feelings about weight as the midwife with a BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2. Conclusions The pregnant women with a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 in this study described perceptions of themselves and the midwives responsible for their care, which may affect their engagement and satisfaction with services. Pregnant women with a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 should be involved in service development activities to ensure the structure of services and the language used by midwives are acceptable and do not confirm weight-related stereotypes. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Key Practitioner Message Pregnant women with a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 construe themselves as vulnerable and self-conscious and perceive themselves responsible for their weight. Pregnant women with a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 construe midwives with a low BMI as having an undesirable, cold, interpersonal style. Midwives with a raised BMI are construed as similar to the women, because they share the uncomfortable psychological consequences of a raised BMI. The nature of pregnant women's construal may affect their engagement and satisfaction with maternity services and midwifery care.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Body Mass Index; Midwives; Pregnancy; Repertory Grid Technique; Women
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1063-3995
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 July 2017
Date of Acceptance: 22 January 2016
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2020 04:09
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/102761

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