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Dokument inifrån: Ultraljudsbilder och visualisering av det väntade barnet
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Health and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2004 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Documentation from within : Ultrasound images and the visualisation of the expected child (English)
Abstract [en]

Medical technology continuously shapes and transforms the image of the body. Within the social sciences, questions have been raised about how people make sense of new representations of the body in their everyday lives. The ultrasound scan, which today is routine and part of the healthsurveillance of all pregnant women within maternity health care, is one example of a technology that visualises the inner body. When the ultrasound scan is carried out, the medical staff, in this case the midwife, and the parents-to-be are confronted with images of the unborn baby, images that will be interpreted and communicated in the clinical situation. The purpose of this dissertation is to explore how the ultrasound image of the unborn child is communicated and ascribed meaning in the interaction between the midwife and the parents-to-be in the clinical situation, and later on in pregnancy.

An empirical study of 21 ultrasound scans was carried out at two maternity health care centres in Sweden. The clinical situations were observed and audio taped, and interviews were carried out with the parents immediately after the scan and later in pregnancy. The data were analysed qualitatively, with a focus primarily on typical patterns in the interaction in the clinical situation and how the ultrasound image was interpreted.

The analyses revealed that the clinical situation was structured in different phases, here called "initial control", "measurements", "showing the baby's bodyparts", and "taking the baby's picture". These phases are closely related to the institutional tasks of the midwife. In the first phases, the ultrasound image was used primarily as a diagnostic tool within the professional perspective, then gradually through the next phases interpreted within the context of the everyday life of the parents-to-be. Of particular interest is the way the parties moved between the professional and parental perspectives, and how a tension remained between these perspectives through the clinical situation. For the parents-to-be, the visualisation of the expected baby seemed to confirm the existence and normality of the baby, making the pregnancy and the expected baby more concrete, public and possible to share with others. Watching the ultrasound image thus functioned as a confirmation, but would paradoxically also trigger reflexivity and a demand to have the image interpreted by a professional person. Finally, these results are discussed within the wider context of new health technologies and their consequences for people in their everyday lives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2004. , 157 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 300
Keyword [en]
ultrasound scan, health technology, interaction, parental perspective, normality, the unborn child, visualisation
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-24125Local ID: 3703ISBN: 91-85295-06-XOAI: diva2:244442
Public defence
2004-12-10, Hörsal Planck, Fysikhuset, Universitetsområdet Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)

Säljs vid tema Kommunikation.

Available from: 2009-10-07 Created: 2009-10-07 Last updated: 2014-09-02Bibliographically approved

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Jonsson, Ann-Cristine
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Health and SocietyFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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