Conceding and concealing judgement in termination of pregnancy: a grounded theory study

Allyson Lipp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to elicit some of the affective attributes in nurses and midwives involved in caring for those undergoing abortion and explore how they may affect the care given. Nurses and midwives face challenges in caring for women during abortion. Recent advances have resulted in more nursing/midwifery input into abortions. Impending legislation is also likely to increase nursing involvement and yet little is known of the likely impact on those involved. Twelve nurses and midwives working in termination of pregnancy services throughout Wales were interviewed using a grounded theory approach. An early effective attribute was being non-judgemental, but the core category derived from comparative analysis revealed that nurses and midwives conceded judging the women, but then concealed their judgements. To help them conceal their judgements maxims were used such as 'there but for the grace of God go I'. Goffman's work on stigma was used to challenge and integrate the grounded theory into the literature. As being non-judgemental is an aspiration, acknowledging that judgement occurs may be more appropriate for clinical nurses in order for them to devise strategies to conceal judgements in a considered manner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365 - 378
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Research in Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


  • abortion
  • grounded theory
  • gynaecology nursing
  • medical/surgical termination of pregnancy
  • stigma


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