Waiting For Something to Happen: Hospitalization with Placenta Previa


  • Anne Katz RN, PhD

    1. Anne Katz is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Manitoba and the coordinator of the Campus Health Resource Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
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Address correspondence to Dr. Anne Katz, Faculty of Nursing, 405 Helen Glass Centre for Nursing, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2, Canada.


Background: Placenta previa occurs in approximately 1 of every 200 pregnancies. No research examining women's experiences of this condition has been published. The objective of this study was to describe the experience of women hospitalized with placenta previa. Methods: A descriptive study was conducted using a convenience sample of 10 pregnant women who had been hospitalized with placenta previa. Women were recruited from a tertiary care hospital and participated in two semistructured interviews during the pregnancy and one after the baby's birth while in hospital. They were admitted to hospital from 28 weeks' gestation and remained in hospital until delivery, generally at 36 weeks' gestation. Transcripts of the interviews were analyzed using content analysis to describe their experience. Results: Six themes were identified from the descriptions of the experience as related by the participants. They encompassed the experience from the first symptoms to feelings about the experience after the baby was born. Conclusions: Women with placenta previa experience significant stressors while in hospital. Health caregivers should be aware of the loss of control and isolation these women feel and be mindful of the potential for sequelae in the postpartum period.