Italian midwives' experiences of late termination of pregnancy. A phenomenological-hermeneutic study

Mauri PA

Ceriotti E

Soldi M

Guerrini Contini NN

Nursing & Health Sciences
Jun 2015


In this phenomenological-hermeneutic study, we explored how midwives perceive the burden of care, while assisting termination of pregnancy after 16 weeks' gestation. Between February and April 2013, 17 Italian midwives from three different units were interviewed. Data were collected using semistructured interviews. Four themes emerged from the interviews: influences, supports, empathy, and emotions. At the end of the study, researchers observed that midwives assert conscientious objection to the termination of pregnancy, which does not influence their experiences and memories. The midwives felt that it was important to share experiences with colleagues, discussing cases together and with the rest of the team. The midwives also suggested some strategies to improve this type of care: organize shifts in a way that could lead to improved and personalized care for women, continuous development, involvement of relatives, and special measures for these women's rooms. Moreover, they considered help from other professionals as fundamental in order to manage the clinical and emotional complexities related to these terminations.