liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Care and support when a baby is stillborn: A systematic review and an interpretive meta-synthesis of qualitative studies in high-income countries.
Umeå University.
Uppsala University.
Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services (SBU) and Karolinska Institute.
Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services (SBU).
Show others and affiliations
2023 (English)In: PLOS ONE, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 18, no 8, article id e0289617Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

INTRODUCTION: Approximately 2 million babies are stillborn annually worldwide, most in low- and middle-income countries. Present review studies of the parental and healthcare providers' experiences of stillbirth often include a variety of settings, which may skew the findings as the available resources can vary considerably. In high-income countries, the prevalence of stillbirth is low, and support programs are often initiated immediately when a baby with no signs of life is detected. There is limited knowledge about what matters to parents, siblings, and healthcare providers when a baby is stillborn in high-income countries.

OBJECTIVES: This systematic review and interpretive meta-synthesis aim to identify important aspects of care and support for parents, siblings, and healthcare professionals in high-income countries from the diagnosis of stillbirth throughout the birth and postpartum period.

METHODS: A systematic review and qualitative meta-synthesis were conducted to gain a deeper and broader understanding of the available knowledge about treatment and support when stillbirth occurred. Relevant papers were identified by systematically searching international electronic databases and citation tracking. The quality of the included studies was assessed, and the data was interpreted and synthesised using Gadamer's hermeneutics. The review protocol, including qualitative and quantitative study approaches, was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42022306655).

RESULTS: Sixteen studies were identified and included in the qualitative meta-synthesis. Experiences of care and support were interpreted and identified as four fusions. First, Personification is of central importance and stresses the need to acknowledge the baby as a unique person. The parents became parents even though their baby was born dead: The staff should also be recognised as the individuals they are with their personal histories. Second, the personification is reinforced by a respectful attitude where the parents are confirmed in their grief; the baby is treated the same way a live baby would be. Healthcare professionals need enough time to process their experiences before caring for other families giving birth. Third, Existential issues about life and death become intensely tangible for everyone involved, and they often feel lonely and vulnerable. Healthcare professionals also reflect on the thin line between life and death and often question their performance, especially when lacking collegial and organisational support. Finally, the fusion Stigmatisation focused on how parents, siblings, and healthcare professionals experienced stigma expressed as a sense of loneliness, vulnerability, and being deviant and marginalised when a baby died before or during birth. GRADE CERQual ratings for the four fusions ranged from moderate to high confidence.

CONCLUSIONS: The profound experiences synthesised in the fusions of this meta-synthesis showed the complex impacts the birth of a baby with no signs of life had on everyone involved. These fusions can be addressed and supported by applying person-centred care to all individuals involved. Hence, grief may be facilitated for parents and siblings, and healthcare professionals may be provided with good conditions in their professional practice. Furthermore, continuing education and support to healthcare professionals may facilitate them to provide compassionate care and support to affected parents and siblings. The fusions should also be considered when implementing national recommendations, guidelines, and clinical practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PLOS ONE , 2023. Vol. 18, no 8, article id e0289617
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-197229DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0289617ISI: 001054317000015PubMedID: 37582089OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-197229DiVA, id: diva2:1792111
Available from: 2023-08-28 Created: 2023-08-28 Last updated: 2023-09-21

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Authority records

Berterö, Carina

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Berterö, Carina
By organisation
Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesDivision of Nursing Sciences and Reproductive Health
In the same journal
PLOS ONE
Nursing

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

doi
pubmed
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
pubmed
urn-nbn
Total: 8 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf