Issues related to pregnancy, pregnancy prevention and abortion in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: A WHO qualitative study protocol

Jose Guilherme Cecatti, Luis Bahamondes, Moazzam Ali, Deda Ogum Alangea, Vanessa Brizuela, Eunice Nahyuha Chomi, Seni Kouanda, Rozina Karmaliani, Laila Ladak, Pisake Lumbiganon, Modey Emefa, Sothornwit Jen, Hamsadvani Kuganantham, Caron Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction WHO has generated standardised clinical and epidemiological research protocols to address key public health questions for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. We present a standardised protocol with the aim to fill a gap in understanding the needs, attitudes and practices related to sexual and reproductive health in the context of COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on pregnancy, pregnancy prevention and abortion. Methods and analysis plan This protocol is a prospective qualitative research, using semi-structured interviews with at least 15 pregnant women at different gestational ages and after delivery, 6 months apart from the first interview. At least 10 partners, 10 non-pregnant women and 5 healthcare professionals will be interviewed once during the course of the research. Higher number of subjects may be needed if a saturation is not achieved with these numbers. Data collection will be performed in a standardised way by skilled trained interviewers using written notes or audio-record of the interview. The data will be explored using the thematic content analysis and the researchers will look for broad patterns, generalisations or theories from these categories. Ethics and dissemination The current protocol was first technically assessed and approved by the WHO scientific committee and then approved by its ethics review committee as a guidance document. It is expected that each country/setting implementing such a generic protocol adapted to their conditions also obtain local ethical approval. Comments for the user's consideration are provided the document, as the user may need to modify methods slightly because of the local context in which this study will be carried out.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere063317
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2022


  • COVID-19
  • qualitative research
  • reproductive medicine


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