Published Papers - Abstract 443

Rowlands I & Lee C. The silence was deafening: Social and health service support after miscarriage. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 2010; 283: 274-286

Miscarriage, a common event in the early stages of pregnancy, has been associated with clinical levels of anxiety and depression. Most of the evidence describing what is helpful for women in their journey through miscarriage has been conducted in the UK. As the Australian health care system is somewhat different, this study uses qualitative methods to examine whether Australian women face different challenges when coping with miscarriage. Semi-structured interviews with 9 women (aged 35-42; M=37 years), who had experienced miscarriages in the previous 2 years, were conducted, and a thematic analysis carried out. Engagement, acknowledgement and support from families, health care providers and the community were positive aspects for women after miscarriage. Unfortunately, the medical management of miscarriage was often described as poor. A lack of information received, in combination with insensitive comments and lack of empathy while being treated in hospital, were very negative aspects of women's miscarriage experiences. Our findings are consistent with similar research conducted in the UK. A multi-level approach to miscarriage which involves support and education for women, their families, and health care professionals may help minimise the extent of women's distress after miscarriage.