Women’s coping with pregnancy termination for fetal abnormality: a comparison between health professionals’ perceptions and women’s accounts

Lafarge, Caroline, Mitchell, Kathryn, Breeze, Andrew and Fox, Pauline (2015) Women’s coping with pregnancy termination for fetal abnormality: a comparison between health professionals’ perceptions and women’s accounts. In: the British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Conference, 23-24 April 2015, London, UK.

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Abstract

Background: Termination of pregnancy for fetal abnormality (TFA) may have profound psychological consequences. Evidence suggests that women’s experience of care influences the way they adjust to TFA. Yet caring for parents in these circumstances presents some challenges for health professionals, which may relate to their understanding of women’s experience.

Objectives: This study examined health professionals’ perceptions of women’s coping with TFA. Data were compared with women’s accounts of their coping processes to identify similarities and differences.

Methods: A qualitative study was conducted among health professionals in two fetal medicine units in England. Fifteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with a range of professionals. Data were analysed using Thematic Analysis and compared with the results of a qualitative study of women’s experience of coping with TFA.

Results: Health professionals’ perceptions of women’s coping with TFA covered six areas, also present in women’s accounts: support, acknowledging the baby, problem-solving, avoidance, meaning making and another pregnancy. Health professionals also considered their role as information providers as essential in women’s ability to cope with TFA, while women, generally placed more importance on health professionals’ emotional support. Results also indicate a lack of insights into women’s long-term coping processes, although midwives appeared more knowledgeable than fetal medicine consultants on this point.

Conclusion: Health professionals’ perceptions of women’s coping with TFA closely matched women’s accounts suggesting a high level of understanding. However, the lack of insight into women’s long-term coping processes has important clinical implications, as research suggests that coping with TFA is a long-term process.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Subjects: Psychology
Depositing User: Caroline Lafarge
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2016 13:27
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2016 12:42
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2689

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