Muslim women's experiences of maternity services in the UK: qualitative systematic review and thematic synthesis

Tasneema Firdous, Zoe Darwin, Shaima M. Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: This review aimed to identify and synthesise evidence of Muslim women's experiences of maternity services in the UK. A systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative evidence, unrestricted by type of publication was conducted. Muslim women who had accessed maternity services in the UK, regardless of obstetric or medical history were included. Method: Databases were searched from 2001 to 2019 and screened for inclusion using pre-determined criteria. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme Qualitative Research Checklist was used to assess study quality and findings were synthesised using thematic synthesis, as described by Thomas and Harden. Results: Six studies were included. The following five themes were identified: Islamic practices and Individualised care; Talk, Teach and Translate; Injustice, Inequity and Intolerance; If Allah wills; and, 'It's not all that bad'. Synthesis highlighted the significance of Islam in shaping many of the women's decision-making relating to antenatal screening and medication, which was contrasted with healthcare professionals' limited awareness of the importance of Islam for motherhood. The majority of women experienced poor maternity care which at times indicated stereotypical and discriminatory behaviour. Conclusions: Education for healthcare professionals is warranted, to enhance the quality and cultural competency in providing appropriate care that acknowledges and meets Muslim women's needs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Issue number1
Early online date18 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


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