Attitudes and views of midwives toward death in perinatal care
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Department of midwifery, School of Health & Care Sciences, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Evangelos P Tzamakos   

Department of midwifery, School of Health & Care Sciences, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A156
Midwives in clinical practice encounter perinatal death often, and in fact spend a large proportion of their time with critically ill neonates and bereaved parents. Midwives therefore play a very important role in caring for parents who experience the death of their baby between 28 weeks of gestation onwards and before the first 7 days of life. In this context, this study focuses on the mental resilience and attitudes of midwives towards death during perinatal care.

Material and Methods:
A convenience sample of 300 midwives from public and private healthcare settings in Athens were surveyed, using the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC), the Death Attitude Profile-Revised (DAP-R) and the Maslach Burnout Inventory (M.B.I.). The researchers provided the participants with both verbal and written information on the aims of the study and obtained written consent from those who agreed to take part.

Most participants were women (n=323 92.8%), older than 41 years (n=204 58.6%). In general, moderate to high levels of resilience were found (mean=94.07 standard deviation 11.772). Normality was significantly violated (p=0.000). The fear of death in midwives was of moderate to high intensity (mean value 3.90 with a range of values 1-6). Normality was significantly violated (p=0.000). Regarding burnout, it can be found that there were mild levels of burnout (mean value 39.52 standard deviation 15.732). The normality of the distribution was not violated, but to a marginal extent (p=0.055).

Palliative care work is stressful, and midwives as primary caregivers in both Labor and Delivery units and in the N.I.C.U. are themselves at risk for burnout and compassion fatigue. It is important that staff have a chance to debrief and gain support when working with perinatal loss. Midwifery Staff working with parents facing or experiencing a perinatal loss must be educated on how to work with families under extreme stress and how to have difficult conversations. Concomitantly, perinatal palliative care should be offered as a strategy for family support.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
This research received no external funding.
Not applicable
ET, AL, CN conceived the topic, ET, AS, CN retrieved the literature, ET wrote the paper, ET share and collect the questionnaires . All authors contributed to editorial changes in the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
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