Links between patient safety and fear of childbirth - A meta-study of qualitative research
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Abstract Aim: To conduct a meta‐study of qualitative empirical research to explore the links between patient safety and fear of childbirth in the maternity care context. The review questions were: How are patient safety and fear of childbirth described? and What are the links between patient safety and fear of childbirth in the maternity care context? Design: Meta‐study. Data sources: The CINAHL, Cochrane, PubMed, Webb of Science, Proquest and Medline (Ovid) electronic databases were searched for articles published between June 2000‐June 2016. Review methods: A meta‐study of qualitative research with a thematic analysis followed by a synthesis. Results: Four descriptive themes emerged: “Physical risks associated with giving birth vaginally”; “Control and safety issues”; “Preventing psychological maternal trauma and optimizing foetal well‐being”; and “Fear of the transition to motherhood due to lack of confidence”. The two overarching analytical themes: “Opting for safety” and “An insecure environment breeds fear of childbirth”, represent a deeper understanding and constitute the synthesis of the links between patient safety and fear of childbirth. This meta‐study indicates the need for increased commitment to safe care and professional support to reduce risks and prevent unnecessary harm in maternity care.