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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Cognition, emotion, and behaviour in women undergoing pregnancy termination for foetal anomaly: A grounded theory analysis.

  • Author(s): Qin, Chunxiang
  • Chen, Wei-Ti
  • Deng, Yunlong
  • Li, Yao
  • Mi, Chunmei
  • Sun, Linli
  • Tang, Siyuan
  • et al.

OBJECTIVE:To understand the cognition, emotions, and behaviour of women who had recently undergone termination due to a foetal anomaly. In this study, we developed and tested a theoretical model to describe how women went through the process after termination. STUDY DESIGN:A grounded theory study. SETTING:Three general hospitals and one special hospital in Changsha, Hunan, China. PARTICIPANTS:41 women who had recently undergone a pregnancy termination. METHODS:In-depth interviews were conducted from May to September 2017. A combination of convenience sampling and theoretical sampling was used, and conceptual depth criteria were used to measure the progress of the theoretical sampling. FINDINGS:This study developed a cognitive-behavioural experience framework of women undergoing pregnancy termination due to a foetal anomaly. The model included 4 phases: 1. Denial Phase, 2. Confirmation Phase, 3. Decision-making Phase and 4. Recovery Phase. Different cognitive appraisal, emotional, and behavioural reactions were included in each phase, and the different reactions influenced one another. KEY CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:We built and tested a theoretical framework by interviewing women who had gone through a pregnancy termination. The framework describes their experiences more clearly from three dimensions, including cognitive appraisal, emotional reaction, and behavioural response in the different phases. This framework provides a basic understanding of the women's emotional process and, therefore, provides baseline data for developing an effective intervention to help women cope with termination stresses.

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