Women’s well-being improves after missed miscarriage with more active support and application of Swanson’s Caring Theory
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Skaraborgs Sjukhus, Skövde, Sweden; 2School of Life Sciences, The University of Skövde, Sweden
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to provide better organization and more efficient use of resources within the health care system in order to identify women with nonviable pregnancy earlier in their gestation terms and also to identify those women who experience severe grief reaction after the miscarriage. The proposed solution is to offer an appointment with a gynecologist during regular office hours after consultation with the patient’s midwife to women experiencing symptoms and who are concerned with the viability of their pregnancy. Unnecessary contact with the emergency room by the patients would be reduced as a result of this improvement in organization. The aim of the study was to give the women experiencing missed miscarriage an increased sense of well-being by applying Swanson’s Caring Theory to their recovery, in addition to the better organization and more efficient use of resources.
Method: Both the original study from 2002 to 2003 and the later study from 2004 to 2005 applied Swanson’s Caring Theory in the follow-up care management of the women, but only the later study was influenced by the changes made in the health care system. In the past, diagnosis of missed miscarriage was delayed because women experiencing minor symptoms were not highly prioritized in the health care system. More active support was introduced in order to get the proper information to the patient throughout the health care system. The size of the original study database was n = 43, compared with the later study database, which was n = 56. All of the women answered the Perinatal Grief Scale (PGS) questions twice, 1 month and 4 months after their diagnosis. Some additional questions about their circumstances unrelated to the PGS were also mailed to the women 4 months after their diagnosis.
Results: As a result of the more active support, women felt that they received professional care when they needed it most. The patients were satisfied that they were treated as if they were suffering from normal grief. The group score above the limits for deep grief 4 months after diagnosis was significantly lowered. The chances of receiving their diagnosis at an appointment during office hours increased (odds ratio 3.38). Sick leave time of more than a week was reduced from 44% in the original study to 22% in the later study.
Keywords: miscarriage, grief, missed miscarriage, nonviable pregnancy, Swanson’s Caring Theory