Men and miscarriage: a systematic review and thematic synthesis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Miscarriage is common, affecting 1 in 5 pregnancies, but the psychosocial effects often go unrecognized and unsupported. The effects for men may be subject to unintentional neglect by healthcare practitioners, who typically focus on biological symptoms, confined to women. Therefore we set out to systematically review the evidence of lived experiences of male partners in high-income countries. Our search and thematic synthesis of the relevant literature identified 27 manuscripts reporting 22 studies with qualitative methods. The studies collected data from 241 male participants, and revealed the powerful effect of identities assumed and performed by men, or constructed for them in the context of miscarriage. We identified perceptions of female precedence, uncertain transition to parenthood, gendered coping responses, and ambiguous relations with healthcare practitioners. Men were often cast into roles that seemed secondary to others, with limited opportunities to articulate and address any emotions and uncertainties engendered by loss.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-145
Number of pages13
JournalQualitative Health Research
Volume30
Issue number1
Early online date16 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • bereavement, grief, quality of care, caregivers, caretaking, doctor-patient, nurse-patient, communication, fathers, fathering, families, masculinity, gender, lived experience, health, access to health care, pregnancy, reproduction, users' experiences, health care, psychology, psychological issues, qualitative, thematic synthesis, systematic review, high-income countires