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Women’s experiences of early pregnancy loss services during the pandemic: A qualitative investigation

George-Carey, R, Memtsa, M, Kent-Nye, FE, Magee, LA, Oza, M, Burgess, K, Goodhart, V, Jurković, D and Silverio, SA (2024) Women’s experiences of early pregnancy loss services during the pandemic: A qualitative investigation. Women and Birth, 37 (2). pp. 394-402. ISSN 1871-5192

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Problem Early pregnancy losses [EPL] are common, varied, and require different courses of management and care. Background In the UK, women who suspect or suffer a pregnancy loss are usually provided specialist care in early pregnancy assessment units [EPAUs]. Their configuration has recently been evaluated, but recommendations for change in-line with best practice for optimum outcomes were unable to be implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic health system shock. Aim To compare women’s experiences of EPAUs during the pandemic to themes previously found in qualitative work undertaken with women who utilised EPAUs before the pandemic. Methods We conducted semi-structured virtual interviews, with women (N = 32) who suffered an early pregnancy loss during the pandemic; analysing transcripts using Template Analysis, based on findings about women’s (pre-pandemic) experiences of EPAU from The VESPA Study. Findings We report on seven key themes: Barriers to Accessing Services; Communication & Information; Retention of Relational Care; Involvement in Care Decisions; Staffs’ Attitude or Approach; Efficiency of Service Delivery; Sensitive Patient Management. Discussion Sensitive patient management and woman-staff interactions in EPAU settings remain a fundamental issue. Women also reported their experiences of EPAUs were comparatively worse during the pandemic. Conclusions Women valued the care provided by EPAUs and found services to be efficient, despite pandemic-related restrictions. However, psychological recognition surrounding EPL and appropriate, sensitive, relational care and support continue to be areas in need of improvement. Our recommendation is to implement the improvements suggested by VESPA as a priority to ameliorate present sub-optimal experiences and prevent further deterioration.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical and Health Sciences; Obstetrics & Reproductive Medicine
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV697 Protection, assistance and relief
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Elsevier
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2024 14:50
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2024 14:00
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.wombi.2023.12.004
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22223
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