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Table 2 Characteristics of included qualitative study

From: Specialist antenatal clinics for women at high risk of preterm birth: a systematic review of qualitative and quantitative research

Study ID, country O’Brien et al. [31], UK
Study Aims High risk pregnant women’s views on attending a specialised antenatal clinic.
Ethics Study was reviewed by the hospital’s Research & development committee and gained ethical approval from local research ethics committee.
Participants Women who had a previous preterm birth, experience antenatal care for the current pregnancy was provided in preterm clinic and English speaking. Women were excluded if they had a known foetal malformation.
Recruitment Specialist preterm clinic.
Sampling method Women were identified for inclusion in the study through obstetrician referral.
Participants characteristics 37 women were interested in participating in the study and 14 were interviewed. Age range 23–44 years; 13 were white and one Black Caribbean. Gestational age an interview range (14–32 weeks).
Data quality rating Two independent researchers analysed the data.
Data collection Three focus groups and face to face interviews.
Data analysis Interpretative approach (thematic coding method) was used.
Data extracts Data transcribed anonymously, coding and categories and themes were developed by two researchers.
Themes 1. Balancing the risks: Women were aware of their risk, but viewed positively due to the extra care (“I would prefer to know and I would see it as a positive thing because you would expect that they would monitor you closely and if necessary give you medication or obviously try and lower the risk somehow to have a successful pregnancy”).
2. Threat of preterm labour: All women felt paranoid about potential signs or symptoms of PTB “Just get through this bit.
3) Personal coping buy developing strategies to survive the pregnancy however, women tried not to focus on their pregnancy avoiding bonding with the baby and were reluctant to look too far to the future. a) Recognizing that something does not feel right: Ignoring the warning signs of PTL with previous pregnancies, however, the PTB was realised they were feeling guilty and not ignoring their intuition again: (“When I look back, leading up to actually having her there were some little signs. And I was very much ignoring them because I was thinking I was being paranoid and silly… the promise that we made to ourselves and particularly to myself was that I am just not going to take any risks….. I don’t care if anyone thinks I ‘m paranoid, you know, or nuts, whatever, as long as I eventually have a healthy baby”). Some women struggled with the health professional to have their concerns taken seriously. Some felt worse after interactions with health professionals in the clinic.
c) Need regular reassurance from health professionals were not always sensitive to women’s worries about the risk of PTL, felt better with the routine reassurance of the clinic screening and scanning.