- Perinatal loss has a significant, but largely unacknowledged effect on healthcare providers.
Why this matters
- Studies of the effects of perinatal death are mainly focused on the patient.
- Healthcare professionals that experience perinatal death report emotional stress, posttraumatic stress disorder, and burnout.
- Healthcare professionals may have unmet needs from experience with perinatal death.
- 2 main themes and 8 subthemes identified.
- Healthcare professionals reported that dealing with perinatal loss was stressful and emotional, they often felt ill-prepared, guilty, overwhelmed, and burnt out.
- Lack of experience increased negative feelings.
- Healthcare professionals experienced physical symptoms including headaches, fatigue, and irritability.
- Coping strategies included talking with friends or colleagues, exercising, praying, journaling, and focusing on the task.
- Coping strategies were dependent upon cultural background.
- Healthcare professionals expressed the need for formal training in communication, personal counseling, legitimizing the emotional vulnerability of staff dealing with perinatal loss, and policies to provide culturally specific care.
- Systematic literature review of studies on perinatal loss.
- 30 articles included in the final analysis.
- Thematic analysis used to identify emerging themes.
- Funding: None.
- Studies addressing this issue are scarce.
- Only English language studies included.