Objectives: This study aimed to explore and analyse men's involvement in antenatal genetic screening and testing in England, and evaluate the use of e-mail communication as a method of health research with men.
Design: After receiving a favourable ethical opinion, a longitudinal qualitative pilot study was undertaken.
Participants: Eight men, whose partners were pregnant, were recruited by purposive sampling.
Findings: Findings indicated that the men experienced ambivalence, doubts and uncertainty about medically identified genetic risks, and also experienced an 'emotional rollercoaster', which was associated with their involvement in antenatal genetic screening and testing. Although connectedness with their partners and shared decision making were highly valued, men's involvement was mediated by their partners and health professionals, including midwives.
Conclusions and implications for practice: The implications of findings for medicalisation theory and future research are discussed. Using e-mail was a success in that the strong pilot data produced provides a stimulus for future research. In addition, implications for policy and practice are also considered, specifically the importance of addressing ambivalence and mediation if midwives are to communicate effectively when working with men and women regarding antenatal genetic screening and testing.
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