Revista de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0124-0064
AZEVEDO, Daniela Vasconcelos de; ARAUJO, Ana Cristina Pinheiro Fernandes de; COSTA, Íris do Céu Clara and MEDEIROS JUNIOR, Antônio. Perceptions of pregnant and postpartum women's feelings about preeclampsia. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2009, vol.11, n.3, pp. 347-358. ISSN 0124-0064. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642009000300004.
Objective The present study was aimed at understanding how pregnant and postpartum women with preeclampsia perceived and experienced their condition. Materials and Methods Interviews and observation were conducted with 20 women having preeclampsia between February and June 2007 in the outpatients department and hospitalisation ward of a public maternity hospital in north-eastern Brazil. The analysis was based on Gadamer's hermeneutics, with construction of thematic categories. Results The women were aware of the gravity and some of the risks to which they were exposed; however, they had little knowledge about preeclampsia and its consequences and little information was given by the health professionals who were treating them. The most present feeling among these women was fear of death, fear of miscarriage and fear caused by lack of information about the disease. Conclusions The perception of the gravity of the disease coupled to the little information given during treatment increased fear amongst these women. Health professionals making high risk prenatal assistance more humanised (especially regarding preeclampsia) could facilitate an approach which would take the disease's emotional dimension into account during pregnant and postpartum women's clinical appointments.
Keywords : Preeclampsia; pregnancy; prenatal care; perception; emotions.