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Improving psychological wellbeing

Much of the current research into recurrent miscarriage focuses on trying to find out more about the possible causes and potential treatment of this condition. Sarah Bailey describes a different type of research study which is looking at trying to improve the psychological wellbeing of women who have suffered recurrent miscarriage.

We know that when women who have experienced recurrent miscarriage become pregnant again, feelings of worry and anxiety are common as they are frightened that they will suffer yet another miscarriage. Despite this there is often limited support for these women available from health professionals and many are left to cope alone with their worries.

The main aim of this study is to explore whether a coping strategy (a sort of self-help card) developed for a similar group of women would be acceptable and useful to women suffering recurrent miscarriage. We want to see if it reduces the anxiety and worry they experience during the early stages of any new pregnancies.

We are also hoping to find out more about how women who have experienced recurrent miscarriage feel during the first few weeks of a new pregnancy: what their thoughts and feelings are, what helps them manage their anxieties and anything that makes it worse. It is important for us as health professionals to understand this better, so we are able to try and develop services to meet women’s needs.

This research study is currently running in Southampton and Portsmouth Hospitals, so unfortunately at the moment, only open to women attending these units. However there is a chance that in the future this study will run on a wider basis.

Sarah Bailey, NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow