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Res Social Adm Pharm. 2019 Jun 13. pii: S1551-7411(19)30183-4. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2019.06.004. [Epub ahead of print]

Arabic-speaking pregnant women with a migration background: A vulnerable target group for prenatal counseling on medicines.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, B-3000, Leuven, Belgium. Electronic address: michael.ceulemans@kuleuven.be.
2
Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, B-3000, Leuven, Belgium. Electronic address: raneem.chaar@outlook.com.
3
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University Hospital Gasthuisberg Leuven, Herestraat 49, B-3000, Leuven, Belgium; Department of Development and Regeneration, Woman and Child, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, B-3000, Leuven, Belgium. Electronic address: kristel.vancalsteren@uzleuven.be.
4
Department of Development and Regeneration, Woman and Child, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, B-3000, Leuven, Belgium; Department of Pediatrics, Erasmus MC Sophia Children's Hospital, Doctor Molewaterplein 40, 3015, GD, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address: karel.allegaert@kuleuven.be.
5
Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, B-3000, Leuven, Belgium. Electronic address: veerle.foulon@kuleuven.be.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The diversity of the European population increased over the last decades due to migration influences. It is obvious that pregnant women with a migration background also need access to the healthcare system of their host country. Nevertheless, pregnancies among women with a migration background may be even more challenging due to a higher prevalence of adverse pregnancy outcomes, higher risk of vitamin deficiencies or lower intake of folic acid. These issues reinforce the need for effective counseling by healthcare professionals (HCPs).

OBJECTIVES:

To explore the experiences of Arabic-speaking pregnant women with a migration background living in Belgium regarding their communication with HCPs, as well as their perceptions towards HCPs and the use of healthcare products during pregnancy.

METHODS:

Semi-structured interviews with Arabic-speaking pregnant women were conducted between February-July 2017 using purposive and snowball sampling. An empirically based conceptual framework, grounded in the interview data, was developed prior to content analysis and coding with Nvivo 11.

RESULTS:

In total, 17 interviews were conducted. Most women reported that they were suffering from the language barrier, which hindered their communication with HCPs and had undesirable consequences on their treatment and medication use. Communication was largely affected by the presence of interpreters. During pregnancy, a high threshold to use medicines and a preference for natural remedies was observed.

CONCLUSION:

Arabic-speaking pregnant women with a migration background living in Belgium are a vulnerable target group for prenatal counseling on medicines. Besides early dectection and willingness to help these women, HCPs should refer them to appropriate and understandable online sources and provide evidence-based information about the use of healthcare products during pregnancy. To facilitate the patient-HCP communication, strategies are further needed to stimulate these women to learn a national language and to increase their social integration.

KEYWORDS:

Belgium; Counseling; Drug utilization; Ethnic groups; Pregnancy; Qualitative research

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