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Title: Patterns of parental emotional reactions after a pre- or postnatal diagnosis of a congenital anomaly
Authors: Fonseca, Ana 
Nazaré, Bárbara 
Canavarro, Maria Cristina 
Issue Date: 10-Nov-2011
Serial title, monograph or event: Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Volume: 29
Abstract: Objective: This study aimed to describe parental reactions at disclosure of a diagnosis of congenital anomaly and to investigate both the existence of distinct patterns of intensity of reactions and their association with post-diagnosis psychosymptomatology. Background: When receiving the news of a pre- or postnatal diagnosis of congenital anomaly, parents usually display acute grief reactions. However, questions arise regarding the variability and intensity of those reactions and their clinical significance. Method: Fifty-one women and 42 men whose infants were diagnosed with a congenital anomaly completed, one month after the disclosure, the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 and retrospectively evaluated their emotional experience at disclosure. Results: Negative emotions, and also hope, were experienced with greater intensity at disclosure. There was variability of emotional reactions, as two distinct patterns were identified: one pattern fits the acute grief reactions pattern, and another of less-intense emotional reactions. No gender differences were found on emotional reactions. Higher-intensity reactions at disclosure were associated with more psychosymptomatology one-month later only for fathers. Conclusion: Findings suggest the need for healthcare professionals to adjust their practice to meet parental needs in the early post-diagnosis stage. Both parents should be given the opportunity to express their emotions as a couple and individually.
DOI: 10.1080/02646838.2011.634398
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FPCEUC - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais
I&D CINEICC - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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