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.
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 these areas, there remains a lack of robust research evidence for those who choose to have a termination of pregnancy following diagnosis. This study hopes to address this gap in research and explore the healthcare needs and experiences of these families and make recommendations for clinical practice, intervention development, policy reform further research. It will include a systematic review of the literature to identify promising models of care, and primary qualitative research with women, their partners and healthcare professionals.
My PhD is funded by a DfE Studentship.
What is your ideal Research outcome?
My ideal research outcome is tangible recommendations for practice which are developed with participants and which are disseminated to appropriate units throughout Ireland who offer this care to parents.
Dr Áine Aventin, Professor Mark Tomlinson
Why did you choose this PhD and why at Queen’s?
As a registered midwife I am really passionate about informing and supporting women and their families through all aspects of their pregnancy, birth and postnatal journey. For some families this does not go as planned or hoped. Bereavement in maternity care is difficult, challenging and emotional for all involved, and for some can be traumatic. My primary aim in applying for this PhD was to study this subject as I want to contribute to improving care for parents in these circumstances. I chose QUB as it has a good reputation for post graduate studies and it is also the most accessible place of study due to me personal and professional commitments.
How have you been supported at Queen’s?
I have received a lot of support and had many opportunities from Queen’s, both from the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the Graduate School, including; training and CPD, presenting at seminars and events, teaching opportunities, scholarships, and getting involved in committees and working groups.