Lois Mary de Cruz
Women’s perceptions of their experience of miscarriage decades after the event: an interpretative phenomenological analysis.
de Cruz, Lois Mary
Miscarriage is a common occurrence. More than a quarter of all conceptions result in miscarriage with the majority of miscarriages occurring in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. However, there is very little research into the long term impact on women. This thesis explores how women perceive their experience of miscarriage many decades after the event. Five women who had experienced miscarriage between 14 and 28 years ago took part in unstructured, in-depth interviews. I subsequently analysed these using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). IPA attempts to explore an individual’s personal perception or account of an experience. Thus, it is a suitable method for exploring how women perceive miscarriage many years after the event. Throughout, I have also made transparent how my own experience and assumptions about miscarriage may have influenced this research. I have focused on the many facets of reflexivity and described the process of taking part in a series of bracketing interviews to examine my beliefs. Three super-ordinate themes emerged from my analysis: Memories of the Initial Impact of Miscarriage, The Longer Term Consequences of Miscarriage and Making Sense of Miscarriage in the Present. I found that for the majority of the women in this study miscarriage was a complex event with both short and long-term psychological consequences. Many years later, it is anxiety, linked to trauma and shock that my participants recall most intensely. However, over time, the women in this study have come to an acceptance of their experiences of miscarriage and they perceive it has made them more resilient and able to look towards the future with optimism. Ultimately, I hope that raising awareness of the long term psychological effects of miscarriage and the needs of women who miscarry, might lead to a more compassionate understanding from health professionals and by society in general.
|Jun 1, 2016