Psychosocial support for male partners of women admitted to Mother and Baby Units

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Abstract

Objective: This study explored what support male partners of women admitted to Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) wanted.

Background: Although research has highlighted the need to support male partners of women admitted to specialist MBUs, little is known about the type of support men want and how they wish support to be delivered

Methods: Ten men whose partner was admitted to a MBU in the United Kingdom or Australia participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed using Thematic Analysis.

Results: Five themes were identified: (1) A smoother journey to and from the MBU, (2) Feeling included, (3) Uncertainty about ‘what is going on’, (4) Barriers to support and (5) Facilitators of support.

Conclusion: This is the first qualitative study to specifically explore the type of support male partners of MBU patients would like in terms of content, delivery and timing. Participants expressed the need to be involved in care decisions regarding their spouse and infant and to be offered advice from professionals. They highlighted barriers to accessing support and offered solutions to minimise those. In terms of clinical implications, we recommend a support package, which could be developed for MBUs to improve outcomes for male partners and their family.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Early online date4 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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