Call for women to participate in study on the emotional impact of hysterectomies


Date: 29/04/2009

A new University of Western Sydney study will reveal the emotional and physical experiences of women who have undergone a hysterectomy following severe bleeding during child birth.

School of Nursing and Midwifery PhD candidate, Mrs Rakime Elmir is seeking women who have had a severe postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) to participate in confidential face-to-face or internet based interviews.

PPH is a life threatening condition in which women suffer excessive blood loss during the first 24 hours after child birth and can result in the patient requiring a hysterectomy.

"The incidence of PPH in Australia is between five and 10 per cent of all births, but it has been increasing over the past decade," says Mrs Elmir.

"However, to date there has been very little research on the impact this traumatic experience has on women in the longer term."

Anecdotally, PPH has devastating consequences for women.

"Women can have difficulties establishing and initiating breastfeeding, bonding with their baby and their relationship with their partner can be affected.

"Their self image or perception of their own bodies can also be changed," she says.

Mrs Elmir says the responses collected in the study and the analysis of the data will be used to shape future medical services and support.

"The insight achieved from talking to women about these deeply personal thoughts and emotions will help build the knowledge needed for women's support networks and enhance the level of care offered by health services."

To participate in the study contact: Rakime Elmir on r.elmir@uws.edu.au

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Paul Grocott
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