Maternal and infant health in Abu Dhabi: Insights from key informant interviews

Hazel Gardner, Katherine Green, Andrew Gardner, Donna Geddes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Consequent upon rapid development in Abu Dhabi, there has been a rise in chronic disease, the susceptibilities to which are influenced by events occurring in early life. Hence, maternal and infant health are key areas in public health policy. Following a study of maternal and infant health in a cohort of mothers in Abu Dhabi between 2002 and 2004, seven key informant interviews were undertaken to elucidate the study findings through the impressions of Emirati women in positions within the healthcare area-including ministries, hospitals, and universities in Abu Dhabi. Semi-structured interviews were based on five key questions that covered the cultural responsiveness of the maternal health services-breastfeeding, health education, and physical and recreational activity. The responses were analysed using a thematic content technique and indicated that the status of women, cultural beliefs and practices, limited health knowledge, and language differences between the local population, healthcare providers, and health promoting materials were important themes. The study highlighted areas for future research and policy, including the communication gaps between healthcare professionals and women, the influences of advertising and the media on health issues, heath education, and ways to increase women’s participation in physical exercise. It is vital to consider non-medical determinants of health alongside biomedical determinants, to help develop culturally appropriate health strategies for this population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3053
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2019


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