'I should have seen her face at least once': parent's and healthcare providers' experiences and practices of care after stillbirth in Kabul province, Afghanistan

Aliki Christou, Ashraful Alam, Sayed Murtaza Sadat Hofiani, Adela Mubasher, Mohammad Hafiz Rasooly, Mohammad Khakerah Rashidi, Camille Raynes-Greenow

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article


OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to explore bereaved parents' and healthcare providers experiences of care after stillbirth.

STUDY DESIGN: Qualitative in-depth interviews with 55 women, men, female elders, healthcare providers and key informants in Kabul province, Afghanistan between October and November 2017.

RESULTS: Inadequate and insensitive communication and practices by healthcare providers, including avoiding or delaying disclosing the stillbirth were recurring concerns. There was a disconnect between parents' desires and healthcare provider's perceptions. The absence of shared decision-making on seeing and holding the baby and memory-making, manifested as profound regret. Health providers' reported hospitals were not equipped to separate women who had a stillbirth and acknowledged that psychological support would be beneficial. However, the absence of trained personnel and resource constraints prevented provision of such support.

CONCLUSION: Findings can inform future provision of perinatal bereavement care. Given resource constraints, communication training can be considered with longer term goals to develop context-appropriate bereavement care guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)2182-2195
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

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