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Antepartum Support Group for Women Hospitalized on Bed Rest

Maloni, Judith A. PhD, RN, FAAN; Kutil, Rhonda M. PhD, RN

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: July-August 2000 - Volume 25 - Issue 4 - p 204-210
Feature Articles: Clinical Research

Purpose: To identify the themes of discussion spontaneously voiced during an antepartum support group by high-risk pregnant women who were hospitalized on bed rest.

Design: Descriptive and exploratory, using content analysis.

Methods: Support groups were held weekly in a tertiary level hospital in a Midwestern state. The convenience sample consisted of 27 women hospitalized for treatment of either preterm labor, incompetent cervix, placenta previa, premature rupture of membranes, or multiple gestation. The group, which was led by the investigator, was unstructured and nondirective. Process recordings of women's spontaneous verbalizations were made during each of 13 antepartum support group sessions.

Results: The women identified seven discussion themes: methods of coping, concerns about family, negative emotions, relationships with caregivers, psychosocial losses associated with bed rest treatment, side effects of medical treatments, and concerns for the safety for self and/or fetal health.

Clinical Implications: An unstructured support group that provides women on hospital bed rest with an opportunity to talk in a confidential and supportive environment may be an important antepartum nursing intervention in helping them cope.

Judith A. Maloni is Associate Professor, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. She can be reached at Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44106; e-mail:

Rhonda M. Kutil is Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois.

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.