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J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2008 May-Jun;37(3):315-28. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2008.00241.x.

A literature update on maternal-fetal attachment.

Author information

1
School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. jalhuse1@son.jhmi.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To critically review and synthesize original research published since 2000 designed to measure factors that influence maternal-fetal attachment.

DATA SOURCES:

EBSCOhost Research Databases that included PubMed, CINAHL Plus, PsycINFO, and SCOPUS were searched for journal articles published in the past 7 years (2000-2007) that examined variables thought to increase, decrease, or cause no change in level of maternal-fetal attachment. Keyword searches included maternal-fetal attachment, parental attachment, and prenatal attachment.

STUDY SELECTION:

Twenty-two studies were selected that met the inclusion criteria of original research, clear delineation of the measurement of maternal-fetal attachment, measurement of maternal-fetal attachment during pregnancy, and inclusion of women or couples, or both.

DATA EXTRACTION:

Studies measuring maternal-fetal attachment included a broad range of variables as potential risk or protective factors, or both. Factors associated with higher levels of maternal-fetal attachment included family support, greater psychological well-being, and having an ultrasound performed. Factors such as depression, substance abuse, and higher anxiety levels were associated with lower levels of maternal-fetal attachment.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

The large majority of studies reviewed were limited by small, homogenous samples deemed insufficient to detect significant differences, inconsistent measurement of maternal-fetal attachment during gestational periods, and cross-sectional designs.

CONCLUSIONS:

Further research is essential to identify factors influencing maternal-fetal attachment. Specifically, research needs to be conducted on larger sample sizes of greater racial and ethnic diversity.

PMID:
18507602
PMCID:
PMC3027206
DOI:
10.1111/j.1552-6909.2008.00241.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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