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Becky Garcia

PhD Student

Becky Garcia

This PhD scholarship was funded by The Steel Charitable Trust.

Course Start: October 2013
Supervisor: Dr Nasreen Ali
Supervisor 2: Prof Gurch Randhawa

Thesis title

Perinatal mortality in Pakistani, Bangladeshi and White British mothers, in Luton.


Addressing modifiable factors in perinatal mortality is a key priority for commissioners and service providers, aiming to aiming to improve birth outcomes and reduced preventable deaths (Department of Health, 2016; National Maternity Review, 2016). Luton, a town with a pleural population, experiences a higher rate perinatal mortality than the national average (CDOP, 2015). There is also an ethnic variation and data shows that Pakistani and Bangladeshi mothers experience higher rates of perinatal mortality in England compared with white British mothers, although the reasons for this are unclear. Much of the existing literature approaches the problem by examining individual risk factors quantitatively or exploring South Asian women’s experiences qualitatively. This study takes a intersectional approach and uses a mixed methods research design to review secondary data identifying risk factors for perinatal mortality in Luton, explore how women’s health beliefs impact on their health behaviour through the maternity care pathway, in addition to exploring healthcare professionals views of the care needs of local women. The results and findings will help to plan and deliver future local maternity services.

Research Questions

How do health beliefs influence health behaviour and contribute to perinatal mortality in babies born to Pakistani, Bangladeshi and WB women living in Luton?


  • Garcia, R. L., Ali, N., Papadopoulos, C. and Randhawa, G. (2015) ‘Specific antenatal interventions for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) pregnant women at high risk of poor birth outcomes in the United Kingdom: A scoping review’, BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. doi: 10.1186/s12884-015-0657-2.
  • Garcia, R. L. and Hand, C. J. (2015) ‘Analgesic effects of self-chosen music type on cold pressor-induced pain: Motivating vs. relaxing music’, Psychology of Music, pp. 1–17. doi: 10.1177/0305735615602144.
  • Garcia, R., Ali, N., Guppy, A., Griffiths, M. and Randhawa, G. (2017) ‘A comparison of antenatal classifications of “overweight” and “obesity” prevalence between white British, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi pregnant women in England. An analysis of retrospective data’, BMC Public Health. BMC Public Health, pp. 1–7. doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4211-1
  • Garcia, R.L., Ali, N., Guppy, A., Randhawa, G. and Griffiths, M. (in review) 'Differences in the pregnancy gestation period and birthweights in infants born to Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and white British mothers in Luton: a retrospective analysis of routinely collected data'. BMJ Open.
  • Garcia, R., Ali, N., Guppy, A., Griffiths, M. and Randhawa, G. (in review) 'Prevalence of gestational diabetes in Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi and white British pregnant women in Luton, England: Analysis of routinely collected data'. J European Community Health.

Contact Information

E: rebecca.garcia@beds.ac.uk

Bedfordshire University Research

Research - REF» Institute for Health Research» Staff and Students» Becky Garcia