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The miscarriage experience: More than just a trigger to psychological morbidity?

Maker, C and Ogden, J (2003) The miscarriage experience: More than just a trigger to psychological morbidity? Psychology & Health, 18 (3). pp. 403-415.

Ogden 2003 The miscarriage experience cathymisc.pap.pdf
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Most quantitative research considers miscarriage a trigger to grief, anxiety and depression. The present qualitative study involved in depth interviews with a heterogeneous sample of 13 women who had experienced a miscarriage up to five weeks previously. The women described their experiences using a range of themes which were conceptualised into three stages: turmoil, adjustment and resolution. For the majority, the turmoil stage was characterised. by feelings of being unprepared and negative emotions. Some women who had had an unwanted pregnancy described their shock at the physical trauma of miscarriage but described the experience as a relief. The women then described a period of adjustment involving social comparisons, sharing and a search for meaning. The latter included a focus on causality which left a minority, particularly those who had had previous miscarriages, feeling frustrated with the absence of a satisfactory medical explanation. The final resolution stage was characterised by a decline in negative emotions, a belief by some that the miscarriage was a learning experience and the integration of the experience into their lives. This resolution seemed more positive for those with children and more negative if the miscarriage was not their first. Rather than being a trigger to psychological morbidity a miscarriage should be conceptualised as a process involving the stages of turmoil, adjustment and resolution. Miscarriage could also be considered a pivotal point in the lives of many women resulting in the reassessment of both their past and future experiences.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Maker, C
Ogden, J
Date : 2003
Additional Information : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychology & Health in 2003, available online:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 20 Mar 2015 12:10
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 14:48

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