Childbirth-related post-traumatic stress disorder in couples: A qualitative study

Nicholls, Karen and Ayers, Susan (2007) Childbirth-related post-traumatic stress disorder in couples: A qualitative study. British Journal of Health Psychology, 12 (4). pp. 491-509. ISSN 1359-107X

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OBJECTIVES: Previous research has established that women can develop childbirth-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but the effect of this on a couple s relationship has not been examined. This study aimed to look at the experience and impact of childbirth-related PTSD in women and their partners. DESIGN: This was a qualitative interview study of six couples, where at least one partner had clinically significant symptoms of childbirth-related PTSD. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted separately with each partner and interview transcripts subjected to thematic analysis. RESULTS: Analysis identified four themes with 18 subthemes as follows: (1) birth factors (pain, negative emotions in labour, perceived lack of control, lack of choice or lack of involvement in decision-making, restricted movement or physical restraint, and expectations not being met); (2) quality of care (information provision, staff factors, continuity of care, and environment); (3) effects on relationship with partner (impact on physical relationship, communication within the relationship, negative emotions within the relationship, receiving or giving support from partner, coping together as a couple, and overall effect on the relationship); and (4) effects on relationship with child (perceptions of the child, and attachment styles). CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that PTSD may have a negative impact on the couple s relationship and the parent-baby bond.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: First author is my MSc student
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Susan Ayers
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:38
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2012 14:08
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