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LO45: Women's perspectives on early pregnancy complications and supportive care needs: a qualitative multi-site study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 May 2020

K. Dainty
Affiliation:
Mount Sinai Hospital - University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
B. Seaton
Affiliation:
Mount Sinai Hospital - University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
V. Rojas-Luengas
Affiliation:
Mount Sinai Hospital - University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
S. McLeod
Affiliation:
Mount Sinai Hospital - University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
M. Tunde-Byass
Affiliation:
Mount Sinai Hospital - University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
E. Tolhurst
Affiliation:
Mount Sinai Hospital - University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
C. Varner
Affiliation:
Mount Sinai Hospital - University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Abstract

Introduction: Women experiencing early pregnancy loss or threatened loss frequently seek care in emergency departments (ED) or early pregnancy clinics (EPC). The dearth of existing qualitative studies has left understudied questions about how these women perceive their healthcare and which strategies best meet their supportive care needs, particularly in the Canadian context. The objective of this study was to deepen our understanding of these women's experiences and gain insight into how clinicians and healthcare services can lessen the impact of this traumatic event on patients and their families. Methods: We conducted a descriptive qualitative study of women who presented to the ED or EPC at an urban tertiary care hospital and an urban community hospital for early pregnancy loss or threatened loss. Purposive sampling was used to recruit patients for in-depth, one-on-one telephone interviews conducted 4-6 weeks after the index visit. Data collection and analysis were concurrent and continued until thematic saturation had occurred. Data analysis was led by two qualitative researchers with support from a multi-disciplinary research team following standard thematic analysis techniques. Results: Interviews were completed with 59 women between July 2018 and August 2019. Participants ranged in age from 22 to 47 years and reflect the diversity of the multicultural city where the study occurred. Our analysis revealed that the medicalization and normalization of early pregnancy complications among ED and EPC clinicians is at odds with women's general lack of knowledge about the frequency, personal risk, causation, duration, and physical intensity of the miscarriage experience. Women identified the value of rapid access to appointments, point of care ultrasound, detailed care plans, and knowledgeable advice as key to lessening the physical and emotional trauma related to early pregnancy loss. Conclusion: This research highlights the physical, emotional, and psychological complexity of a medical situation frequently minimized within the current healthcare system. The results impart important knowledge about which aspects of ED and EPC care are most valued by women experiencing early pregnancy loss or threatened loss and demonstrate the clear need for women and their families to be provided with more education about the totality of the early pregnancy experience, including the possibility of pregnancy complications and loss.

Type
Oral Presentations
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians 2020

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LO45: Women's perspectives on early pregnancy complications and supportive care needs: a qualitative multi-site study
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