• grief;
  • midwifery;
  • nursing;
  • participatory action research;
  • perinatal loss;
  • professional practice change;
  • research protocol

pastor-montero s.m., romero-sánchez j.m., paramio-cuevas j.c., hueso-montoro c., paloma-castro o., lillo-crespo m., castro-yuste c., toledano-losa a.c., carnicer-fuentes c., ortegón-gallego j.a. & frandsen a.j. (2012) Tackling perinatal loss, a participatory action research approach: research protocol. Journal of Advanced Nursing68(11), 2578–2585.


Aim.  The aim of this study was to promote changes to improve the care provided to parents who have experienced a perinatal loss through participatory action research.

Background.  The birth of a child is a joyful event for most families, however, unfortunately some pregnancies end in loss. Perinatal loss creates a heavy emotional impact not only on parents but also on health professionals, where in most cases there is an evident lack of skills, strategies and resources to cope with these kinds of situations.

Design.  Participatory action research is the methodology proposed to achieve the purpose of this study.

Methods.  Participatory action research consists of five stages: outreach and awareness, induction, interaction, implementation and systematization. The working group will include professionals from the Mother and Child Unit for patients at a tertiary level public hospital in Spain. The duration of the study will be 3 years since the approval of the protocol in January 2011. The qualitative techniques used will include group dynamics such as the SWOT analysis the nominal group technique, focus groups and brainstorming, among others that will be recorded and transcribed, generating reports throughout the evolution of the group sessions and about the consensus reached. Content analysis will be conducted on the field diaries kept by the participants and researchers. This project has been funded by the Andalusian Regional Ministry of Health.

Discussion.  Participatory action research is a methodological strategy that allows changes in clinical practice to conduct a comprehensive transformative action in the care process for perinatal loss.