Introduction Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a significant global health concern and is likely to become an increasingly important healthcare challenge in destination countries such as the UK owing to rising levels of migration from FGM-affected countries. Currently, there is no consensus on the optimal timing of deinfibulation (opening) surgery for women who have experienced type 3 FGM and care provision remains suboptimal in the UK. This qualitative study aims to explore the views of survivors, male partners and healthcare professionals (HCPs) on the timing of deinfibulation and delivery of NHS FGM services.
Methods and analysis A qualitative study, informed by the Sound of Silence conceptual framework, will be undertaken via two work packages (WPs). WP1 will explore views on timing preferences for deinfibulation and NHS FGM services through interviews and discussion groups with FGM survivors (n~50), male partners (n~10) and HCPs (n~50). WP2 will use established techniques via two workshops (community (n~20–25 participants) and national stakeholder (n~30–35 participants)) to synthesise qualitative research findings and inform best practice and policy recommendations around the timing of deinfibulation and NHS FGM care provision. Supported by trained interpreters, data collection will be audio recorded and transcribed. Data will be analysed using the framework method to facilitate a systematic mapping and exploration of qualitative data from multiple sources.
Ethics and dissemination The study has received ethical approval from the North West Greater Manchester East Research Ethics Committee (18/NW/0498). The outputs for this study will be recommendations for best practice and policy around FGM care provision that reflects the views and preferences of key stakeholders. The findings will be disseminated via conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications, patient groups, third sector organisations and social media.
Trial registration number ISRCTN14710507.
- qualitative research
- maternal medicine
- public health
- reproductive medicine
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Twitter @drlauraljones, @FGMSisterStudy
Contributors LJ, ED, KJ, AB, MF-W, PL and JT were involved in the design of the study. LJ wrote the full study protocol. LA and JC drafted the initial manuscript. BC drafted the data collection and analysis sections and created online supplementary file 4. All authors provided critical review of the manuscript and have approved the final version.
Funding This study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (project reference 16/78/04). KJ is part-funded by NIHR CLAHRC West Midlands.
Disclaimer The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval The study has received a favourable opinion from the North West—Greater Manchester East Research Ethics Committee (18/NW/0498) and approval from the Health Research Authority. Voluntary informed consent to participate and be audio-recorded will be gained from all participants.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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