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Childbearing through the Lens of Women with Minor Thalassemia: A Qualitative Study

Khadijeh Sarayloo, Zahra Behboodi Moghaddam, Khadijeh Mirzaii Najmabadi, Sharon Elizabeth Millen, Mohsen Saffari

Background: It is essential to provide key information and support to every woman regarding pregnancy and childbirth to enable all women to make a fully informed decision regarding their choice to reproduce.  Of particular importance; however, is that women who suffer from a specific condition that increases risks associated with reproduction, to receive specific information regarding such risks and health complications regarding pregnancy and childbirth. This study aims to explore the feelings, experiences, and needs of women with minor thalassemia in relation to childbearing. Materials and Methods: This sample comprised of 12 Iranian women with minor thalassemia who attended to local health centers in Minudasht, Golestan province, from October 2017 to January 2018. The purposeful sampling technique was employed. The data were collected through deep semi-structured interviews, analyzed using conventional content analysis and processed by using the Graneheim and Lundman method. Results: The findings were based on the participants’ experiences of pregnancy and fertility. Three major themes emerged; ‘Emotional and Physical Experience,’ ‘Satisfaction’ and ‘Social and Cultural Issues.’ The most common problem identified was the impact of emotional problems and difficulties regarding the negative implications of thalassemia on reproduction as well as the views and perceptions of family members and those within the community. Conclusion: From the findings, it is evident that thalassemia imposes a heavy psychosocial burden on those women who suffer from the condition. Local health centers in areas most affected by thalassemia would be considered the most suitable venues to introduce key health educational interventions. [GMJ.2019;8:e1429] 

Thalassemia; Pregnancy; Qualitative Research; Iran

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