Name: Suzanne Heaney
Research Theme: Maternal & Child Health
Research Title: The Bluebell Study: An exploration of the healthcare experiences and needs of parents who terminate a pregnancy in the case of a fetal anomaly diagnosis on the island of Ireland
Research Interests: Midwifery; Maternity Care; Sexual and Reproductive Health; Abortion; Women’s Health
Supervisors: Dr Aine Aventin and Professor Mark Tomlinson
Fetal anomaly diagnosis and perinatal death are associated with post-traumatic stress and long-term psychological and emotional distress for women and their partners/families. While research is increasing in this area, there remains a lack of robust research evidence for those who choose to have an abortion following diagnosis. This study hopes to address this research gap and explore the healthcare needs and experiences of these families and to make recommendations for further research, intervention development, clinical practice and policy reform. It will incorporate a systematic review of the literature to identify promising models of care, and primary qualitative research with women, their partners and healthcare professionals.
Study Aim: The study aims to explore the healthcare experiences and needs of women and their partners who have had a termination of pregnancy following an antenatal diagnosis of fetal anomaly
The study will meet the following objectives:
- Conduct a systematic review of the international literature, identifying promising service provision models and gaps in evidence;
- Parent perspective - explore the healthcare experiences and needs of parents, paying particular attention to the less understood needs of partners; and
- Professional perspective - record the experiences and needs of healthcare professionals working with this group of parents – including obstetricians, fetal medicine specialists and midwives.
I’m a qualified midwife and have spent the majority of my career in a midwifery led alongside unit. I am really passionate about informing and supporting women and their families and I love to teach hypnobirthing and active birth classes. I am in the first year of my PhD project and absolutely loving it (so far!). I am so pleased and honored to have this opportunity.
My Perfect PhD Day
Feeling productive and getting something … anything, ticked off the to do list!
When I’m not PhDing…
I’m kept pretty busy by my two young kids. But on the very rare bit of downtime from them I love to swim, eat out and go to the theatre.