Healthcare professionals’ assertions and women's responses during labour: A conversation analytic study of data from One born every minute
journal contributionposted on 06.04.2018 by Clare Jackson, Victoria Land, Edward J. B. Holmes
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd Objective Communication during labour is consequential for women's experience yet analyses of situated labour-ward interaction are rare. This study demonstrates the value of explicating the interactional practices used to initiate ‘decisions’ during labour. Methods Interactions between 26 labouring women, their birth partners and HCPs were transcribed from the British television programme, One Born Every Minute. Conversation analysis was used to examine how decisions were initiated and accomplished in interaction. Findings HCPs initiate decision-making using interactional practices that vary the ‘optionality’ afforded labouring women in the responsive turn. Our focus here is on the minimisation of optionality through ‘assertions’. An ‘assertive’ turn-design (e.g. ‘we need to…’) conveys strong expectation of agreement. HCPs assert decisions in contexts of risk but also in contexts of routine activities. Labouring women tend to acquiesce to assertions. Conclusion The expectation of agreement set up by an assertive initiating turn can reduce women's opportunities to participate in shared decision-making (SDM). Practice implications When decisions are asserted by HCPs there is a possible dissonance between the tenets of SDM in British health policy and what occurs in situ. This highlights an educational need for HCPs in how best to afford labouring women more optionality, particularly in low-risk contexts.
This research was funded by Department of Sociology, University of York.
- Social Sciences
- Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies