Barbara van Brummen, Lauren Griffiths

International Journal of Palliative Nursing, Vol. 19, Iss. 2, 21 Feb 2013, pp 85 - 91

Aim: This paper reports a study that explored birth and death care experiences from the perspectives of midwives and palliative care clinical nurse specialists (CNSs). Methods: A grounded theory approach illuminated the social processes associated with caring during birth and death. Data was collected during 2011 through in-depth semi-structured interviews with eight participants: four midwives and four CNSs from UK NHS Trusts. Findings: Four categories were identified through thematic analysis: memories, one act, advocate, and medical event. These integrated to create a core category: working to counter the pathologisation of birth and death. Conclusion: The participants illustrate the impact of medicalisation on the experience of birth and death and struggle with the negative effects of this. Health professionals should work toward practice that emphasises the importance of holistic care.

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