Parents experiences of having an infant with early onset group B streptococcus infection

Emma McLeod, Celia Mason, Katherine Swainston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives
The study explores parents lived experience of having an infant with early onset group B streptococcus.

Design
The study adopts a qualitative approach and a phenomenological framework with written autobiographical accounts as the method of data collection.

Methods
Twenty seven parents wrote first-hand accounts of their experience of having an infant with early onset group B streptococcus. Participants documented their experiences in their own way, reporting their thoughts and feelings, experiences, and events that were meaningful to them.

Results
Four themes were developed from data analysis: ‘bonding’; ‘grief’; ‘communication and information provision’; and ‘future family’.

Conclusions
The study findings demonstrate the complexity of emotions within parent’s experiences and highlight grief and loss as a core component of these experiences. Medical intervention, while acknowledged as being vital and in many cases lifesaving, was viewed as a disruption to early bonding experiences resulting in sadness and guilt. Variation in information provision, communication about this infection, and feeling that their infant’s illness and/or death was preventable added to the sense of loss. Breakdowns in interpersonal communications with partners and family were commonly described and experiences of early onset group B streptococcus had implications for decision-making around future pregnancies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Nov 2021

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