An exploration of the experiences of men whose partners have undergone a termination of pregnancy due to fetal abnormality

Prof Doc Thesis

Jacob, Philip Russell 2011. An exploration of the experiences of men whose partners have undergone a termination of pregnancy due to fetal abnormality. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsJacob, Philip Russell
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Whilst most pregnancies will progress with the outcome of a healthy baby, for
some, routine prenatal testing may be the first point at which parents realise the
pregnancy may not be progressing as expected. Parents may undergo further
genetic testing with subsequent results being indicative of there being
significant abnormality with the baby. Such parents can be faced with the option
to undergo a termination of pregnancy (TOP), which if undertaken can include
other procedures such as feticide. Research suggests that for women, the
experience of receiving positive-prenatal tests can be extremely distressing. If a
TOP has been chosen, this too can prove a traumatic experience. Only a small
number of studies have investigated the father's experience of such testing and
if chosen, TOP - this research suggests that for fathers too, this can be a
traumatic and upsetting experience.
The qualitative study presented here was undertaken in order to investigate
men's lived experience of partners undergoing a TOP for fetal abnormality and
to develop research in this area. Eight men were interviewed whose partners
had undergone a termination of pregnancy due to genetic information. A semistructured
interview was completed, and audio recorded, with each participant
whilst on their own. An interpretative phenomenological analysis was
undertaken with the transcribed audio recordings. From this, six super-ordinate
themes were developed from the corpus of transcripts. Themes related to
variables that can affect the experience of receiving prenatal test results, factors
affecting decision-making processes, the role of the participants as 'protector
and enforcer', the experiences of the ending of the pregnancy within a medical
context, the acknowledgment of the existence of a life, and how men can relate
to others during and after experiencing a partner undergoing a TOP for genetic
reasons. This study concludes with recommendations for further research and
clinical practice.

Publication dates
PrintMay 2011
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Jan 2014
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