Parental response to severe or lethal prenatal diagnosis: a systematic review of qualitative studies

Research output: Research - peer-reviewReview

DOI

Objective
A severe or lethal prenatal diagnosis places great demands on prospective parents, who face choices of far-reaching consequences, such as continuing or terminating the pregnancy. How best to support these parents is a clinical challenge. This systematic review aimed to identify and synthesize the qualitative evidence regarding prospective parents’ responses to such prenatal diagnoses.
Methods

Following PRISMA guidelines, four databases were systematically searched and 28 studies met the inclusion criteria. Thematic analysis guided data extraction and synthesis of findings. The CERQual assessment tool was utilized to assess confidence in the findings.

Results
Prospective parents experienced multiple losses, e.g. of the healthy child, normal pregnancy and envisioned future.. After diagnosis, they requested timely and reliable information and empathetic continued interaction with clinicians. Prospective parents who continued the pregnancy wished to be acknowledged as parents, and engaged in planning to obtain a sense of meaning and control. Selective disclosure and concerns about negative responses were issues both for the parents who terminated and those who continued a pregnancy.

Conclusion
Clinicians can support parental coping following a severe prenatal diagnosis through continued dialogue and collaboration. Further research is needed on the experiences of parents who choose to terminate a pregnancy following prenatal diagnosis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Volume37
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)731-743
ISSN0197-3851
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, Review

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 114249277