Culture of silence: Midwives’, obstetricians’ and nurses’ experiences with perinatal death
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionClinical Nursing Studies 2016, 4(4):58-65 10.5430/cns.v4n4p58
Background: Health care personnel’s experiences of grief and painful emotional involvements in situations facing perinatal death has attracted woefully little research and attention. In order to provide high standards of care for patients and their families, health care personnel needs to express their emotions in these situations in an adequate way. Aim: The main aim was to explore how midwives, obstetricians and nurses experience perinatal death and what characterize these experiences. Methods: This review study was designed through systematic examination methods to detect articles in English and Scandinavian language that describe midwifes’, obstetricians’ and nurses’ experiences with perinatal death and factors that characterize these experiences. Only ten articles met these inclusion criteria. A qualitative method was used to describe and comprehend the phenomena. Results: The following categories emerged from the data: (1) emotional implications, (2) change in culture, (3) education and training, (4) hierarchical issues, (5) support and learning from others. Emotional implications when facing perinatal death were reported in all the ten articles. Conclusions: This study revealed that withdrawal from the situation and denial were common reactions to perinatal death among health care personnel. These reactions may lead to a lower quality of care for the bereaved parents. Findings in this study indicate that the problem is related to culture and to accept this as a problem and challenge. Emotional reactions among health care personnel to perinatal death must be fully acknowledged and normalized.