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Health-care provider communication with expectant parents during a prenatal diagnosis: an integrative review

Abstract

The pregnancy and health-care experience of expectant parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of their unborn infant is distinctively fraught with uncertainty. Health-care providers (HCPs) that care for parents during this uncertain time have an exceptional opportunity to positively impact parental outcomes. An integrative literature review was conducted to explore HCPs’ impact on parents’ experiences of receiving a prenatal diagnosis. Thirty-three articles met study inclusion criteria (n=18 qualitative; 6 quantitative; 9 mixed methods). HCP communication was the major theme identified, because of its overarching impact on parents’ experiences of receiving a prenatal diagnosis of their unborn infant. Parents’ perception of the information communicated to them about their unborn infant’s diagnosis by their HCP, and the manner in which that information is communicated to them, affects parents’ ability to cope with the diagnosis. Recommendations for health-care delivery models, and for future research are discussed.

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Acknowledgements

KAL received a Dissertation Award from the Golden Lamp Society for her dissertation work, of which this manuscript is a part.

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Correspondence to A L Kratovil.

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Kratovil, A., Julion, W. Health-care provider communication with expectant parents during a prenatal diagnosis: an integrative review. J Perinatol 37, 2–12 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/jp.2016.123

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