1. Hayman, Laura L. PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Callister, Lynn Clark PhD, RN, FAAN

Article Content

Nai-Ying, K., & Muecke, M. (2005).Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health, 50(1), 23-30.


Potential termination of pregnancy is a decision fraught with emotional and moral issues for women and couples. Feminist ethnography was used to describe the decision-making process in HIV-concordant Taiwanese couples. The process identified included three stages: shaping the meaning of the pregnancy, encountering the health-care system, and structuring their decision. The meaning of pregnancy included perceptions such as "mercy from God" as the prenatal testing identified HIV status and pregnancy as an expression of filial piety in ensuring the continuity of generations of family (with the birth of a son). When encountering the healthcare system, these couples either felt supported and validated or disappointed in the lack of support from caregivers. In structuring their decision, couples made an initial decision, then searched for information and did a risk-benefit analysis before making a final decision. Gender differences were noted as these women felt the necessity to be "obedient" to the husband's decision. In other research with Chinese childbearing couples, it is well documented that sociocultural context has a profound influence on childbearing (Kartchner & Callister, 2003). In this study, Confucian values including filial piety made a significant difference for these women and couples confronting a painful choice. The importance of professional support of HIV-positive childbearing couples is explicated in this work. With a global increase in the incidence of HIV/AIDS among women of childbearing age, such research can prove helpful to health professionals and increase their levels of cultural competency.


Comment by Lynn Clark Callister

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Kartchner, R., & Callister, L. C. (2003). Giving birth: Voices of Chinese women. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 21(2), 100-116. [Context Link]