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Women’s health and midwifery
Women voice their need for personalised risk messaging, effectively balancing a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach with a need for evidence-based risk communication
  1. Nicola Mackintosh1,
  2. Qian (Sarah) Gong2
  1. 1 Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  2. 2 School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nicola Mackintosh, Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK; nicola.mackintosh{at}

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Commentary on: Blaylock R, Trickey H, Sanders J, Murphy C. WRISK voices: A mixed-methods study of women’s experiences of pregnancy-related public health advice and risk messages in the UK. Midwifery. 2022 Oct;113:103433. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2022.103433. Epub 2022 Jul 19.

Implications for practice and research

  • Healthcare professionals need to ensure risk discussion is sensitively tailored to women’s individual circumstances, choices and existing evidence uncertainties.

  • Future research can usefully identify inequities evident in risk communication including risks that receive greater attention and how responsibilities are distributed for fetal health and pregnant women.


There is a growing body of evidence highlighting the significance of risk messaging for women’s experiences of pregnancy, their decision making and health actions, as well as maternal and fetal health outcomes. Women routinely seek out and receive risk information from healthcare professionals, media, family and friends and have to manage …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.