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Trauma-Informed Care With Childhood Maltreatment Survivors: What Do Maternity Professionals Want to Learn?

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BACKGROUND: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects 8% of pregnant women, and the biggest risk factor for pregnancy PTSD is childhood maltreatment. The care they receive can lead to positive outcomes or to retraumatization and increased morbidity. The purpose of this study is to gather information from a range of clinicians about their continuing education needs to provide perinatal care to women with a maltreatment history and PTSD.

METHOD: Maternity health care professionals were interviewed by telephone. Network sampling and purposive sampling were used to include physicians, nurse practitioners, midwives, nurses, and doulas (n =20), and results were derived from content analysis.

RESULTS: Most providers received little or no training on the issue of caring for women with a history of childhood maltreatment or PTSD during their original education but find working with this type of patient rewarding and wish to learn how to provide better care. Providers identified a range of educational needs and recommend offering a range of formats and time options for learning.

CONCLUSIONS: Maternity health care providers desire to work effectively with survivor moms and want to learn best practices for doing so. Thus, educational programming addressing provider needs and preferences should be developed and tested to improve care experiences and pregnancy outcomes for women with a history of trauma or PTSD.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2014

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