A woman smiling for the camera
Dr Şebnem Susam-Saraeva, Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies, University of Edinburgh

Dr Şebnem Susam-Saraeva was awarded an RSE Research Workshop Grant to take forward the project Translating informed consent in Scottish maternity services, together with Dr Jenny Patterson, Lecturer in Midwifery, Edinburgh Napier University.

Their project examines informed consent during pregnancy, labour and birth in the case of parents with limited English proficiency (LEP) in Scotland (e.g. refugees and asylum seekers who have recently arrived in the country).

Enhancing the birthing experience in Scotland and beyond

Recognising the challenges LEP parents face when trying to access adequate information in their own languages during perinatal care, and, the consequential contribution this has to poor maternal outcomes, the main objective of the project is to understand informed consent from an interdisciplinary perspective of midwifery and translation and interpreting studies.

The ultimate aim of our project is to enhance the birthing experiences of parents with limited English proficiency. The RSE grant has enabled us to share invaluable ideas and information with colleagues around the UK, and it has given us visibility in maternal healthcare and in academia.”

What’s next?

Dr Susam-Saraeva and Dr Patterson have arranged a series of expert focus groups and interactive workshops bringing together researchers and practitioners who wouldn’t usually have the opportunity to network, to assess informed consent in multilingual and multicultural settings in Scottish maternity services with fresh eyes. The project findings will now be disseminated through an online colloquium, which has attracted more than 150 participants from more than 30 countries. The investigators will also participate in the Scottish Midwifery Festival in November 2022 to share their research.