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The emotional process from diagnosis to birth following a prenatal diagnosis of fetal anomaly: A qualitative study of messages in online discussion boards
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Research group (Dept. of women´s and children´s health), Clinical Psychology in Healthcare. (Klinisk psykologi i hälso- och sjukvård, Clinical Psychology in Healthcare)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4141-8692
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Pediatrics. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Research group (Dept. of women´s and children´s health), Clinical Psychology in Healthcare. Ersta Skondal Bracke Univ Coll, Dept Hlth Care Sci, Stockholm, Sweden.. (Klinisk psykologi i hälso- och sjukvård, Clinical Psychology in Healthcare)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5104-1281
2017 (English)In: Midwifery, ISSN 0266-6138, E-ISSN 1532-3099, Vol. 48, p. 53-59Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: to explore written statements found in online discussion boards where parents currently expecting, or with previous experience of expecting, a child with a prenatally diagnosed congenital anomaly communicate about their emotional process from diagnosis to birth.

Design: cross-sectional qualitative study of messages in public online discussion boards.

Setting: Swedish public discussion boards about reproductive subjects.

Sample: ten pregnant women and eight parents (of children with prenatal diagnoses) who had written 852 messages in five threads in Swedish online discussion boards identified via systematic searches.

Measurements and findings: three phases were identified in the process of moving from the diagnosis to the birth: shock, existential crisis, and life remodeling. The people posting message (‘posters’) moved from initial shock to existential crisis and, lastly, a phase of remodeling life later in the pregnancy. During the pregnancy, considerable worries about both antenatal and postnatal aspects were expressed. To cope with their situation, the posters distanced themselves from the diagnoses, vented their feelings, sought control, and obtained practical support from friends and relatives.

Key conclusions: expectant parents faced with a prenatal diagnosis move from initial shock to a phase of life remodeling and acceptance. Burdened with considerable worries, expectant parents cope with their situation through informational, emotional, and instrumental support from health professionals, family, friends, and peers.

Implications for practice: health professionals should make sure that expectant parents feel involved in planning their children's postnatal care, that they are offered sufficient information, and that they have access to emotional and instrumental support structures. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 48, p. 53-59
Keywords [en]
Maternal-Fetal Relations, Pregnancy, Prenatal care, Prenatal diagnosis, Life change events, Social media
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Caring Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-317821DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2017.02.010ISI: 000399485200008PubMedID: 28324810OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-317821DiVA, id: diva2:1083095
Available from: 2017-03-20 Created: 2017-03-20 Last updated: 2017-12-19Bibliographically approved

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Carlsson, TommyStarke, VeronicaMattsson, Elisabet

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