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Support Following Miscarriage

Elfer, AF; (2017) Support Following Miscarriage. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage; it is the most common type of pregnancy loss. It can be a devastating and traumatic experience, yet often it goes unrecognised and unspoken about. This thesis, presented in three parts, looks at formal and informal sources of support for women in the aftermath of miscarriage. Part I is a literature review of the effectiveness of psychological interventions for women following miscarriage. Thirteen studies met inclusion criteria. Interventions evaluated included CBT, IPT, nurse/midwife led sessions, and psychological debriefing. Nine of the studies found improvement in symptoms following intervention. There was no evidence of differential effectiveness for interventions of different theoretical underpinnings. Part II presents the findings of a qualitative study of women’s experiences of social support following miscarriage. Thirteen women took part in semi-structured interviews which were analysed using Braun and Clark’s (2006) method of thematic analysis, yielding 10 themes. Women encountered a number of barriers to talking about miscarriage e.g. its physical nature and being surrounded by other pregnant women. They experienced both unsupportive interactions (e.g. dismissive remarks, encouragement to move on) and supportive interactions (e.g. validation and permission to talk). The findings are discussed with reference to the literature on grief, trauma and social support. Part III is a critical appraisal of the process of conducting the research presented in Part II. It focuses on three main areas: personal reflexivity; epistemological reflexivity; and broader reflections on miscarriage as a taboo subject.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: Support Following Miscarriage
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Miscarriage, social support, therapy, interventions, pregnancy loss
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1575469
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