Impacts of Perinatal Death on Women and Families: A Qualitative Systematic Review

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Nedruetai Punaglom
Nadnapa Arayasinlapathon


Perinatal death is the death of unborn or newborn children that is perceived as the death of a non-person which affects not only women but also the whole family and may have a long-lasting negative impact on the living child. This review aimed to outline current evidence concerning focus on the impacts of perinatal death on women and families. A systematic review of literature focused on women and families facing perinatal death was undertaken using Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Checklist for Qualitative Research. The search was limited to published studies from January 2012 to December 2021, and the relevant databases utilized to conduct the systematic search included CINAHL Complete, MEDLINE, PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, SCOPUS, and Google Scholar. Over 1,000 titles were initially identified, which yielded 11 studies for evaluation and synthesis. Data extraction was conducted using the Joanna Briggs Institute data-extraction tool. Thematic synthesis was used to synthesize the data. Two core themes were identified: 1) impact on women (being overwhelmed with suffering, losing a sense of self-worth, risks of pathological grief); and 2) impact on families (subsequent pregnancy produces mixed emotions, neglecting a living child, marital disharmony, lacking support from a health professional).

In conclusion, further research is needed on the voices of men, existing children, and entire families. In particular, there is a need to develop an effective intervention for entire families experiencing perinatal death by focusing on individuals and different cultures.


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Punaglom N, Arayasinlapathon N. Impacts of Perinatal Death on Women and Families: A Qualitative Systematic Review. BKK Med J [Internet]. 2022 Sep. 30 [cited 2023 Dec. 10];18(2):146. Available from:
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