Experience of miscarriage: An interpretative phenomenological analysis

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Abstract

Objective: The objective of the study was to explore the experiences of those who have experienced miscarriage, focusing on men's and women's accounts of miscarriage. Design: This was a qualitative study using a phenomenological framework. Following in-depth semistructured interviews, analysis was undertaken in order to identify superordinate themes relating to their experience of miscarriage. Setting: A large tertiary-level maternity hospital in Ireland. Participants: A purposive sample of 16 participants, comprising 10 women and 6 men, was recruited. Results: 6 superordinate themes in relation to the participant's experience of miscarriage were identified: (1) acknowledgement of miscarriage as a valid loss; (2) misperceptions of miscarriage; (3) the hospital environment, management of miscarriage; (4) support and coping; (5) reproductive history; and (6) implications for future pregnancies. Conclusions: One of the key findings illustrates a need for increased awareness in relation to miscarriage. The study also indicates that the experience of miscarriage has a considerable impact on men and women. This study highlights that a thorough investigation of the underlying causes of miscarriage and continuity of care in subsequent pregnancies are priorities for those who experience miscarriage. Consideration should be given to the manner in which women who have not experienced recurrent miscarriage but have other potential risk factors for miscarriage could be followed up in clinical practice.

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Meaney, S., Corcoran, P., Spillane, N., & O’Donoghue, K. (2017). Experience of miscarriage: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. BMJ Open, 7(3). https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011382

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