Education of Early Pregnancy Loss Counseling

Posted On: September 22, 2016 By Nathan D. Fox, MD

Pregnancy loss is unfortunately very common.  As such, counseling for women experiencing pregnancy loss should be a routine part of medical student and resident training. However, currently, the teaching process for this counseling less formal and many doctors are not trained how to counsel women during this stressful and emotional time.

In a recent study, researchers randomized 77 medical students during their obstetrics and gynecology rotations. The study group received a formal curriculum of demonstration and role-playing for providing bad news and a shared decision-making model for early pregnancy loss management. The control group receives the traditional, less formal instruction.

Before the instruction, both groups had similar pretest scores. After the rotation, the study group had significantly higher structured clinical examination scores, higher post teaching confidence levels, and higher standardized empathy ratings compared to the control group.

Structured Teaching Conclusion

If implemented, a structured teaching course for pregnancy loss counseling could potentially improve performance, confidence, and empathy for students during this difficult, but frequent patient interaction. This recent study supports that formal training could enhance a doctor’s ability to counsel patients effectively and empathetically for pregnancy loss and potentially other pregnancy complications, as well as general medical complications, and in delivering bad news to patients.

Abstract Discussed in this Article:

Marko EK, Buery-Joyner SD, Sheridan MJ, Nieves K, Khoury AN, Dalrymple JL. Structured teaching of early pregnancy loss counseling. Obstet Gynecol 2015;126:1S–6S.

Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0000000000001015

Carnegie Imaging for Women blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!

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