Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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Dennehy, R; Hennessy, M; Meaney, S; Matvienko-Sikar, K; O'Sullivan-Lago, R; Ui Dhubhgain, J; Lucey, C; O'Donoghue, K
Health expectations : an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy
How we define recurrent miscarriage matters: A qualitative exploration of the views of people with professional or lived experience
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Background: Recurrent miscarriage (RM) affects 1%–3% of women/couples of reproductive age depending on the definition used, for example, whether 2 or ≥3 miscarriages. Stakeholders' views of how RM is defined have received limited attention to date. A definition reflects the medical evidence and values of a society at the time, and thus warrants ongoing review. Aim: We aimed to explore the views of women and men with lived experience of RM, and those involved in the delivery/management of services and supports, on how RM is and/or should be defined. Methods: We adopted a qualitative study design, incorporating semi-structured interviews. We used purposive sampling to recruit participants in the Republic of Ireland, ensuring diverse perspectives were included. Women and men with lived experience of ≥2 consecutive first-trimester miscarriages were recruited via health professionals and social media; other participants via the research team's networks. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, pseudo-anonymized and analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Findings: We conducted interviews with 42 health professionals/service providers and 13 couples are offered and 7 men with lived experience of RM (June 2020 to February 2021). We generated three interrelated themes from the data: (i) The need for a standardized definition of recurrent miscarriage–Finding a balance between research evidence, individual needs and healthcare resources, (ii) The definition is a route to finding an answer and/or validating women/couples' experience of loss and (iii) Working around the definition—Advocacy and impacts. Conclusion: A nuanced approach to defining RM is warranted, one which is evidence-informed recognizes the individual needs of women/couples, and considers healthcare resources.
Grant Details
Health Research Board