Effects of a Midwife-Led Psycho-Education Intervention on Birth Fear in Childbearing Women
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Childbirth fear has received considerable attention in Scandinavian countries, and the United Kingdom, but not in Australia. For first-time mothers, fear is often linked to a perceived lack of control and disbelief in the body’s ability to give birth safely, whereas multiparous women may be fearful as a result of previous negative and/or traumatic birth experiences. There have been few well-designed intervention studies to address women’s childbirth fear, support normal birth, and diminish the possibility of a negative birth experience. Purpose of Study The program of work aimed to determine the prevalence of childbirth fear in a large population based sample and identify factors associated with, and possible antenatal predictors of, childbirth fear (Study 1). Study 2 aimed to test the efficacy of a midwife-led psycho-education counselling intervention (known as BELIEF – Birth Emotions and Looking to Improve Expectant Fear) in reducing women’s antenatal childbirth fear. Method A total of 2,311 eligible women in their second trimester of pregnancy were approached while attending antenatal clinics at one of three hospitals in South East Queensland. Sixty one percent of women (n = 1,410) agreed to participate and completed the first questionnaire package which included a measure to screen for childbirth fear. Women reporting high childbirth fear (≥66 on the Wijma Delivery Expectancy / Experience Questionnaire - WDEQ) were randomly allocated to study groups. Women who were expected to have returned data by June 2013 within the ongoing BELIEF study were included in Study 2 (intervention n = 118 or control group n = 132).
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Nursing and Midwifery
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Child birth fears