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Supportive care for women with recurrent miscarriage: a survey to quantify women's preferences
van den Boogaard, N.M.
Article from Journal - ilmiah internasional
Human Reproduction vol. 28 no. 02 (Feb. 2013)
PSYCHOLOGY AND COUNSELLING
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BACKGROUND Supportive care is regularly offered to women with recurrent miscarriages (RMs). Their preferences for supportive care in their next pregnancy have been identified by qualitative research. The aim of this study was to quantify these supportive care preferences and identify women's characteristics that are associated with a higher or lower need for supportive care in women with RM. METHODS A questionnaire study was conducted in women with RMs (=2 miscarriages) in three hospitals in the Netherlands. All women who received diagnostic work-up for RMs from January 2010 to December 2010 were sent a questionnaire. The questionnaire quantified supportive care options identified by a previous qualitative study. We next analysed associations between women's characteristics (age, ethnicity, education level, parity, pregnancy during questionnaire and time passed since last miscarriage) and their feelings about supportive care options to elucidate any differences between groups. RESULTS Two hundred and sixty-six women were asked to participate in the study. In total, 174 women responded (response rate 65%) and 171 questionnaires were analysed. Women with RM preferred the following supportive care options for their next pregnancy: a plan with one doctor who shows understanding, takes them seriously, has knowledge of their obstetric history, listens to them, gives information about RM, shows empathy, informs on progress and enquires about emotional needs. Also, an ultrasound examination during symptoms, directly after a positive pregnancy test and every 2 weeks. Finally, if a miscarriage occurred, most women would prefer to talk to a medical or psychological professional afterwards. The majority of women expressed a low preference for admission to a hospital ward at the same gestational age as previous miscarriages and for bereavement therapy. The median preference, on a scale from 1 to 10, for supportive care was 8.0. Ethnicity, parity and pregnancy at the time of the survey were associated with different preferences, but female age, education level and time passed since the last miscarriage were not. CONCLUSIONS Women with RM preferred a plan for the first trimester that involved one doctor, ultrasounds and the exercise of soft skills, like showing understanding, listening skills, awareness of obstetrical history and respect towards the patient and their miscarriage, by the health care professionals. In the event of a miscarriage, women prefer aftercare. Women from ethnic minorities and women who were not pregnant during the questionnaire investigation were the two patient groups who preferred the most supportive care options. Tailor-made supportive care can now be offered to women with RM.
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