Background Providing individualised care, respect for women’s opinions, and appropriate clinical information is imperative to those who experience recurrent miscarriage (RM). However, currently, there is no national standard for the management/care of those who experience RM in Ireland. Previous research concluded that it is essential for healthcare professionals (HCPs) to realise that women undergoing miscarriage experience a significant life event recommending future studies to explore potential targets for improving RM care and patients’ perspectives. Therefore, this study aims to explore the care experiences of women and men who have received RM care in Ireland.
Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted using an anonymous web-based national survey. Women and men over 18 who have experienced two≥ first trimester miscarriages in the last ten years and who have received care for RM in Ireland were invited to participate. The survey was purposefully designed and distributed online using Qualtrics between September – November 2021 through emails, social media accounts and support groups. Descriptive statistics and subgroup analysis are ongoing using Stata.
Results In total, 213 participants completed the survey (some did not experience a consecutive RM or receive care between 2011–2021 (n=74)). Therefore, 139 participants were eligible (97% female, n=135). Of the female participants, 79% were aged 35–44 years (n=106), 95% were white Irish (n=128) and 84% were married (n=114). 57% had experienced two consecutive RM (n=77) and 25% three consecutive RM (n=34). Of the 135 women, 53% had investigations for RM (n=71), with 45% having investigations after two RM (n=32) or 27% after three RM (26). When asked if their HCP did everything to investigate their RM, 49% said no. Of those who had investigations (n=71), 83% always had confidence and trust in their HCP (n=59), and 42% felt treated with dignity and respect (n=30). However, 44% did not have HCPs to talk to about their worries and fears (n=31). 24% of women rated a poor experience when receiving RM care (n=32), 36% said the care they received was much worse than expected (n=48), with 60% of women saying that HCPs in different places did not work well together during their RM care (n=81).
Conclusion This study demonstrates that the overall experience for RM care is poor identifying areas for improvement such as communication and better care coordination between HCPs across hospitals/units. These results provide a better understanding of the drivers shaping care experiences to help inform and improve RM care in Ireland.
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