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Womens experiences of internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (iCBT) for Fear of Birth

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Author list: Thomtén, Johanna
Publication year: 2019
ISSN: 1871-5192

Abstract

Background: Fear of Birth is common in pregnant women and associated with negative physical and mental health. There is a clear comorbidity with anxiety and depression. Internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has been suggested as a treatment option for Fear of Birth and a randomized controlled trial comparing internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with midwifery led counselling as standard care has been conducted. Objective: The aim of this study was to describe womens experiences of guided internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Fear of Birth and to describe the content of their fear. Methods: The present study is a qualitative, follow-up interview study following the randomized controlled trial, the U-CARE Pregnancy Trial. In total 19 women allocated to internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Fear of Birth were interviewed by telephone. A semi-structured interview guide was used and the transcripts were analyzed with thematic analysis. Results: The womens descriptions of Fear of Birth differed, however their fear was most often associated with fear of losing control, fear for the babys life or health or own life threatening events. The experiences of internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Fear of Birth varied, some women were positive to its flexibility although most women preferred a face-to face meeting. The treatment did not pin-point their fears, it was challenging to maintain motivation and to work with the treatment in solitude. Conclusions: Womens descriptions of Fear of Birth varied. Most women undergoing internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy would have preferred a face-to-face meeting which they imagined would have soothed their fear. Internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Fear of Birth may be an alternative for some women.


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