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Can J Public Health. 2013 Jun 7;104(6 Suppl 1):S65-70.

[Perception of the linguistic and cultural context minority on the lived experiences of pregnancy].

[Article in French]

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INRS-Institut Armand Frappier.



From a public health perspective, the follow-up of women during pregnancy and the perinatal period requires quality communication and health services that take into account the context in which these women live. However, challenges related to access to health services in French in a minority situation have been documented in recent research. The objective of this pilot study is to better understand the perceptions, the lived experiences and the needs of pregnant Francophone women living in Canada within a linguistic minority context.


Given the exploratory nature of the inquiry, a mixed method descriptive study was conducted in Alberta and New Brunswick, whose populations are 2% and 33% Francophone, respectively. Two semi-structured interviews and a series of validated questionnaires were administered to 21 pregnant women during the third trimester of pregnancy and at six weeks postnatal. Based on the questionnaires, a descriptive analysis documented participants' characteristics, and qualitative interviews were transcribed, coded and analyzed through an inductive process by four independent readers to uncover key themes related to the participants' experiences.


Most of the women were bilingual and language in which health services were received did not appear to be a major issue for them, except during times of stress and at critical periods of the pregnancy. In contrast, almost one third of the women reported being unsatisfied with services they had received and attributed this dissatisfaction to gaps in French language services.


Women prefer to receive health services in their mother tongue, however services are delivered in English most of the time. Participants report that during times of stress and emergency, communication in French is essential to a quality follow-up of patients. Linguistic and cultural congruence seems to be a key factor for quality care during pregnancy. A comparative study would assist in better ascertaining the relative impact of language on Francophone women's lived experiences during pregnancy.


Delivery; culture; francophone; official language minority; perinatal; pregnancy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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