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Evaluation of a family nursing intervention for distressed pregnant women and their partners: a single group before and after study

Authors

  • Marga Thome,

    1. Marga Thome MSc PhD RN Professor School of Health Science, Faculty of Nursing, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland
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  • Stefanía B. Arnardottir

    1. Stefanía B. Arnardottir MSc RN Advanced Practitioner in Family Health Nursing Primary Health Care of the Capital Area, Reykjavik, Iceland
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M. Thome: e-mail: marga@hi.is

Abstract

Thome M. & Arnardottir S.B. (2013) Evaluation of a family nursing intervention for distressed pregnant women and their partners: a single group before and after study. Journal of Advanced Nursing 69(4), 805–816. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06063.x

Abstract

Aim.  To report a study of the effects of an antenatal family nursing intervention for emotionally distressed women and their partners.

Background.  High levels of depressive symptoms and anxiety are common in pregnant women, and their partners are likely to suffer from a higher degree of these symptoms than those of non-distressed women. Maternal anxiety and depressive symptoms influence the development of the foetus and child negatively. Distress-reducing interventions for couples are scarce.

Design.  The design was a pre- and post-test single group quasi-experiment.

Methods.  All women distressed during the last two trimesters of pregnancy were referred by midwives to a family nursing home-visiting service in a primary care setting in Iceland. They were invited to participate in the study from November 2007–September 2009. The final sample was 39 couples. Assessment of distress was through self-reporting of depressive symptoms and anxiety, self-esteem, and dyadic adjustment. The couple received four home visits that were guided by the Calgary Family Nursing Model.

Results.  Women experienced a higher degree of distress than men before the intervention. Couple’s distress was interrelated, and improvement was significant on all indicators after the intervention.

Conclusion.  Healthcare professionals who care for distressed expectant women should attend to their partners’ mental health status. The Calgary Family Nursing Model is an appropriate guide for nursing care of distressed prospective couples in a primary care setting.

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