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Patient care before and after termination of pregnancy for neural tube defects

, : Patient care before and after termination of pregnancy for neural tube defects. Prenatal Diagnosis 10(8): 497-506

A retrospective study was designed to examine the perception of care in women who had experienced a second-trimester termination of pregnancy (TOP) for a neural tube defect. Women were identified over a 3-year period, 1983-1985. After appropriate constent, 166 women were visited at home between 4 weeks and 7 months post-TOP and interviewed by one experienced interviewer using a structured questionnaire with open and closed questions. The majority (137, 82 per cent) felt satisfied with the care received during screening, prenatal diagnosis, and during the TOP (126, 76 per cent). Patients were less satisfied (63, 38 per cent) with post-TOP care in hospital. On leaving hospital, the post-termination sequelae were mentioned to only 25 (15 per cent) patients, which left 135 (81 per cent) confused and bewildered by the post-partum reactions of their bodies, and by their strong emotions. After-care was perceived as unsatisfactory by 113 (68 per cent). One-quarter (42, 25 per cent) did not have, and were not invited for, a post-termination appointment and thus did not have an opportunity to ask questions or to discuss the fetus. Eighty-six (51.8 per cent) had no visit from any member of the primary health-care team, yet most would have appreciated such a visit. Suggestions for improved management are presented.


PMID: 2176288

DOI: 10.1002/pd.1970100804

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