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Continuing A Pregnancy After A Fetal Anomaly Diagnosis

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Title: Continuing A Pregnancy After A Fetal Anomaly Diagnosis
Author(s): Lazala, Olga
Advisor(s): Hershberger, Patricia
Contributor(s): Kavanaugh, Karen; White-Traut, Rosemary; Giurgescu, Carmen; Lalor, Joan
Department / Program: Health System Science
Graduate Major: Nursing Science
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago
Degree: PhD, Doctor of Philosophy
Genre: Doctoral
Subject(s): fetal anomaly anomaly diagnosis continuing pregnancy
Abstract: Continuing A Pregnancy Following Fetal Anomaly Diagnosis Purpose and Background/Significance: In the United States, the incidence of fetal anomalies present at birth is estimated to be as high as 5%. Advances in prenatal testing and diagnostic techniques have made it possible to identify a fetus with anomalies during pregnancy. After the fetal anomaly is discovered, women may decide to continue their pregnancy and avoid termination. However, there are a limited number of studies about the experiences of women continue their pregnancy after a fetal anomaly diagnosis. Healthcare providers have little knowledge about how best to provide support and guidance to these women as they continue their pregnancy and prepare for the birth. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of pregnant women who continued pregnancy after a fetal anomaly diagnosis, identify the support and guidance they received from their healthcare providers, and to understand the extent to which this support and guidance met their needs and expectations. Methods: A qualitative descriptive research design was used to explore the experiences of women who continued pregnancy after a fetal anomaly diagnosis. A purposeful convenience sample of 10 pregnant women was recruited from Midwestern Level III obstetric-neonatal medical centers. Each woman was interviewed twice during mid to late pregnancy utilizing probes and open-ended questions. Data was then analyzed utilizing content analysis with the development of codes and pattern interpretation arising from the data. Results: Continuing pregnancy after a fetal anomaly diagnosis is a stressful event fraught with uncertainty that few women expect or are prepared for. This experience is represented through four major themes: becoming vulnerable; navigating the diagnosis; connecting with the baby; and interacting with healthcare providers. Healthcare providers significantly impacted the women’s experiences as well as their ability to cope as they continued their pregnancy and prepared for the birth. Implications for Practice: The results of this study identified some opportunities for healthcare providers to better meet the needs and expectations of women continuing pregnancy after a fetal anomaly diagnosis. These opportunities included normalizing the pregnancy, inquiring about the woman’s emotional state, and identifying the woman’s concerns.
Issue Date: 2015-10-21
Genre: thesis
Rights Information: Copyright 2015 Olga Lazala
Date Available in INDIGO: 2017-10-22
Date Deposited: 2015-08

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