Dong, Dong, Shenaz Ahmed, Elena Nichini, Huso Yi, Hussain Jafri, Yasmin Rashid, Mushtaq Ahmed, & Jianfeng Zhu (2021, April). Decision-making on antenatal screening results: A comparative Q-method study of women from two Chinese cities. Health Expectations, 24(4), 363-376. (doi: 10.1111/hex.13178) (Link: (Access:

Abstract: Background. Although an integral part of ethical and quality health care, little is known about the informed decision making of Chinese women with different socioeconomic backgrounds within the context of antenatal testing. Methods. To explore women’s viewpoints on informed decision making regarding antenatal screening, a Q‐methodology study that combines both quantitative factor analysis and interviews was conducted between June 2016 and February 2017 in Shanghai and Duyun. A total of 169 women (84 Shanghai and 85 Duyun) participated in the study of 41 ranked statements along a Q‐sorting grid. Results. Using by‐person factor analysis, five distinct viewpoints are identified: (a) choice is shared with the partner/husband, but the mother has the right to make the final decision; (b) having antenatal tests is not about choice but about a mother’s responsibility; (c) choice is a shared decision led primarily by the partner/husband and secondarily by the doctors; (d) choice should be made using the advice of doctors, but the decision should be made with the partner/husband; and (e) choice is a responsibility shared with the partner, family and doctors. Conclusions. The study reveals that women with better education and higher incomes demonstrate more autonomy than those with less education. The nuclear family clearly emerges as the main decision makers in health‐care services in China. Patient and Public Contribution. The 169 participants shared their views and stories for at least an hour. They were debriefed after the interviews and contributed their thoughts on our study design and interpretation of the data.

Jianfeng Zhu <> is in the Anthropological and Ethnological Research Institute, Fudan‐Harvard Medical Anthropology Collaborative Research Center, School of Social Development and Public Policy, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.