Good practices in perinatal bereavement care in public maternity hospitals in Southern Spain
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AuthorMartínez-García, Encarnación; Lara-Rodríguez, Helen; Álvarez-Serrano, María Adelaida; González-García, Alberto; Martín-Salvador, Adelina; Gázquez-López, María; Pérez-Morente, María Ángeles
StillbirthCare providersPerinatal bereavement careMidwivesGuidelines
SponsorshipFunding for open access charge: Universidad de Granada/CBUA
Objective To assess the attitudes and care practices of midwives and nurses in the province of Granada in relation to death care and perinatal bereavement, to determine their degree of adaptation to international standards and to identify possible differences in personal factors among those who best adapt to international recommendations. Design A local survey of 117 nurses and midwives from the five maternity hospitals in the province was conducted using the Lucina questionnaire developed to explore professionals' emotions, opinions, and knowledge during perinatal bereavement care. Adaptation of practices to international recommendations was assessed using the CiaoLapo Stillbirth Support (CLASS) checklist. Socio-demographic data were collected to establish their association with increased compliance with recommendations. Findings The response rate was 75.4%, the majority were women (88.9%), with a mean age of 40.9 (SD=1.4) and 17.4 (SD= 10.58) years of work experience. Midwives were the most represented (67.5%) and reported having attended more cases of perinatal death (p = 0.010) and having more specific training (p<0.001.) Of these, 57.3% would recommend immediate delivery, 26.5% would recommend the use of pharmacological sedation during delivery and 47% would take the baby immediately if the parents expressed their wish not to watch them. On the other hand, only 58% would be in favour of taking photos for the creation of memories, 47% would bathe and dress the baby in all cases, and 33.3% would allow the company of other family members. The percentage that matched each recommendation on memory-making was 58%, 41.9% matched the recommendations on respect for the baby and parents, and 23% and 10.3% matched the appropriate delivery and follow-up options, respectively. The factors associated with 100% of the recommendations, according to the care sector, were being a woman, a midwife, having specific training and having personally experienced the situation. Key conclusions Although the levels of adaptation observed are more favourable than in other nearby contexts, serious deficiencies are identified in the province of Granada with respect to internationally agreed recommendations on perinatal bereavement care. More training and awareness-raising of midwives and nurses is needed, which also considers factors related to better compliance. Implication for practice This is the first study to quantify the degree of adaptation to international recommendations in Spain reported by midwives and nurses, as well as the individual factors associated with a higher level of compliance. Areas for improvement and explanatory variables of adaptation are identified, which allow support for possible training and awareness-raising programmes aimed at improving the quality of care provided to bereaved families.