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Stillbirths, infant deaths lead to anxiety, guilt and stress among obstetricians
Date:6/29/2008

ason for lawsuits against obstetricians in the United States, preceded only by allegations involving births with adverse neurologic outcomes. In the study, 43 percent of obstetricians who responded said they had worried about disciplinary or legal action due to a perinatal death with no identified cause.

Improved physician training would help obstetricians, according to a majority of the study's respondents. Physicians who said they'd had adequate bereavement training were less likely to report that they had considered giving up obstetric practice because of the emotional difficulty of perinatal death, the study notes. Physicians who perceived their own training as adequate were less likely to worry about disciplinary or legal action when cause of death was unknown.

"As physicians, we get a lot of training in medicine but little in death and bereavement. Sudden and unexpected losses can be terribly difficult both for families and for the physicians involved in caring for the family," Gold says. "This study shows that stillbirths and infant deaths can have profound and persistent effects on obstetricians. We need to find ways to help both families and physicians cope with these devastating events."

Two-thirds of physicians supported training by formal presentations or seminars, and nearly half recommended informal gatherings for physicians to discuss difficult experiences. Many respondents suggested that a meeting with bereaved parents could serve as a useful training strategy as well as a way of helping physicians cope with their own feelings about the loss.


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Contact: Katie Vloet
kgazella@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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