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What is perinatal well-being? A concept analysis and review of the literature

Lookup NU author(s): Carly Allan, Dr Debbie Carrick-Sen


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Objective: To conceptualise and review the literature pertaining to perinatal well-being'. Background: Poor perinatal mental health can have detrimental consequences for women's life-long health and the well-being of their children and family; however, the meaning of the term perinatal well-being' is unclear. This is an important concept to evaluate to better ascertain families requiring additional support; however, currently no validated assessment tool exists. In order to develop such a tool, it is necessary to first determine the meaning of this concept. Methods: The concept analysis framework of Walker and Avant was used. Electronic bibliographic databases were searched to find papers written in English and dated 1946-2012. These included: CINAHL, PubMed, Medline via OVID, Embase, PsycINFO, British Nursing Index, Web of Science, All EBM Reviews - Cochrane DSR, ACP Journal club, DARE and Global Health. From undertaking a detailed literature review the defining attributes were ascertained: model, borderline, related, contrary, invented and illegitimate cases were constructed. The antecedents and consequences were then identified and empirical referents determined. Results: The apparent attributes of perinatal well-being' are (a) the time period ranging from before and after childbirth; (b) multi-dimensional elements which include; physical, psychological, social, spiritual, economical and ecological; and (c) subjective cognitive and/or affective self-evaluation of life. Conclusion: Perinatal well-being' is a complex concept which involves self-evaluation of various inter-relating life dimensions during the perinatal period. Qualitative research to explore factors which effect self-evaluation is required to assist in the development of an effective assessment tool for use within clinical practice.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Allan C, Carrick-Sen D, Martin CR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology

Year: 2013

Volume: 31

Issue: 4

Pages: 381-398

Online publication date: 24/05/2013

Acceptance date: 19/03/2013

ISSN (print): 0264-6838

ISSN (electronic): 1469-672X

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/02646838.2013.791920


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