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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


SOUZA, Nilba Lima de et al. Maternal perception of premature birth and the experience of pre-eclampsia pregnancy. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.41, n.5, pp.704-710. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze maternal experiences of preeclampsia pregnancy with premature birth at a neonatal intensive care unit. METHODS: A qualitative study using the focus group technique was conducted with 28 women in a facility specialized in high-risk pregnancies in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Northeastern Brazil, in 2004. Mothers included had had preeclampsia during pregnancy and a preterm delivery with consequent hospitalization of their baby at a neonatal intensive care unit. The data were analyzed using thematic content analysis of three thematic nuclei subjects: information about preeclampsia during prenatal care; experiences with the preterm newborn, and their perception of neonatal intensive care unit professionals' attitudes. RESULTS: Maternal reports showed subjects' lack of knowledge with regard to preeclampsia and its association with prematurity. Difficulties inherent to the maternal role of caring for the child in the neonatal intensive care unit were identified, accentuated by communication flaws between health professionals and users. CONCLUSIONS: Some difficulties experienced by the mothers, in the context of preeclampsia and prematurity, were aggravated by lack or inadequacy of information provided to the users.

Keywords : Pre-eclampsia [psychology]; Obstetric labor [Premature, psychology]; Obstetric labor complications [psychology]; Health knowledge [attitudes, practice]; Qualitative research.

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