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Coping after recurrent miscarriage: uncertainty and bracing for the worst

Coping after recurrent miscarriage: uncertainty and bracing for the worst
Coping after recurrent miscarriage: uncertainty and bracing for the worst
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to understand how women with single or recurrent miscarriages cope during the waiting periods after miscarriage - waiting for pregnancy or waiting for pregnancy confirmation - and to investigate their perception of a 'positive reappraisal' coping intervention designed for these waiting periods. Positive reappraisal is a cognitive strategy to change the meaning of a situation, specifically reinterpreting the situation in a more positive way.

METHODS: A qualitative methodology was used. Data were obtained from two focus groups comprising nine women with one or more miscarriages.

RESULTS: Two core categories, 'uncertainty' and 'bracing', were highlighted during the waiting period for confirmation of an ongoing pregnancy. Women who had experienced a single miscarriage appraised this waiting period as benign and used distraction and coping by social support. Women with recurrent miscarriages could not confidently appraise the waiting period as one that would bring hope or joy and used bracing for the worst as their coping strategy to manage this ambivalence. With this strategy, women tried to control their current emotions, and looked into the future to try to minimise their distress if a further miscarriage occurred. Although all women thought that a 'positive reappraisal' coping intervention would be practical and applicable during waiting periods, only women with recurrent miscarriages actually wanted to use such an intervention.

CONCLUSIONS: Coping interventions targeting reappraisal of the waiting period stressor situation could help women to cope as they wait for a subsequent pregnancy to be confirmed as ongoing. Coping interventions may need to be tailored, but before any strategy is introduced, further study is needed to identify the most appropriate approach.
1471-1893
Ockhuijsen, H.D.
56bac056-8858-4a19-9173-dd901f30d2df
Boivin, J.
b99698f8-bfae-4d46-b0cb-69bd1c7b2a11
van den Hoogen, A.
0fbaa7a1-a21a-4567-aff5-9b23c71b956b
Macklon, N.S.
7db1f4fc-a9f6-431f-a1f2-297bb8c9fb7e
Ockhuijsen, H.D.
56bac056-8858-4a19-9173-dd901f30d2df
Boivin, J.
b99698f8-bfae-4d46-b0cb-69bd1c7b2a11
van den Hoogen, A.
0fbaa7a1-a21a-4567-aff5-9b23c71b956b
Macklon, N.S.
7db1f4fc-a9f6-431f-a1f2-297bb8c9fb7e

Ockhuijsen, H.D., Boivin, J., van den Hoogen, A. and Macklon, N.S. (2013) Coping after recurrent miscarriage: uncertainty and bracing for the worst. Journal of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care. (doi:10.1136/jfprhc-2012-100346). (PMID:23329740)

Record type: Article

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to understand how women with single or recurrent miscarriages cope during the waiting periods after miscarriage - waiting for pregnancy or waiting for pregnancy confirmation - and to investigate their perception of a 'positive reappraisal' coping intervention designed for these waiting periods. Positive reappraisal is a cognitive strategy to change the meaning of a situation, specifically reinterpreting the situation in a more positive way.

METHODS: A qualitative methodology was used. Data were obtained from two focus groups comprising nine women with one or more miscarriages.

RESULTS: Two core categories, 'uncertainty' and 'bracing', were highlighted during the waiting period for confirmation of an ongoing pregnancy. Women who had experienced a single miscarriage appraised this waiting period as benign and used distraction and coping by social support. Women with recurrent miscarriages could not confidently appraise the waiting period as one that would bring hope or joy and used bracing for the worst as their coping strategy to manage this ambivalence. With this strategy, women tried to control their current emotions, and looked into the future to try to minimise their distress if a further miscarriage occurred. Although all women thought that a 'positive reappraisal' coping intervention would be practical and applicable during waiting periods, only women with recurrent miscarriages actually wanted to use such an intervention.

CONCLUSIONS: Coping interventions targeting reappraisal of the waiting period stressor situation could help women to cope as they wait for a subsequent pregnancy to be confirmed as ongoing. Coping interventions may need to be tailored, but before any strategy is introduced, further study is needed to identify the most appropriate approach.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 17 January 2013
Organisations: Human Development & Health

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 347986
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/347986
ISSN: 1471-1893
PURE UUID: da55ce53-8997-4e09-a9d9-7197c70430d1

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Date deposited: 05 Feb 2013 11:43
Last modified: 07 Jan 2022 21:25

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Contributors

Author: H.D. Ockhuijsen
Author: J. Boivin
Author: A. van den Hoogen
Author: N.S. Macklon

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