Development of a prenatal program for adults with personal histories of childhood abuse or neglect: a Delphi consensus consultation study.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can, Volume 38, Issue 11, p.393-403 (2018)


<p><b>INTRODUCTION: </b>Pregnancy and the birth of a child present particular challenges for adults with personal histories of childhood abuse or neglect. However, few prenatal interventions address the specific needs of this population. This research aims to determine a list of actions that should be achieved during group interventions designed for expectant parents who experienced childhood trauma.</p><p><b>METHODS: </b>Fifteen stakeholders representing nine different Quebec health care and community organizations that work with families and/or trauma survivors participated in a Delphi process in two rounds. In round 1, three project leaders identified, from clinical and empirical literature, a set of 36 actions relevant for expectant parents who experienced childhood trauma. Using an anonymized online survey, stakeholders coded how important they considered each action and whether they were already conducting similar interventions in their clinical setting. Stakeholders subsequently participated in a one-day in-person meeting during which they discussed the pertinence of each action, proposed new ones and refined them. This was followed by a second anonymized online survey (round 2). A consensus was reached among the stakeholders regarding a final list of 22 actions.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>Two central clusters of actions emerged from the consultation process: actions aiming to support mentalization about self and parenthood, and actions aiming to support mentalization of trauma.</p><p><b>CONCLUSION: </b>The Delphi process helped to identify what should be the core of a prenatal intervention targeting adults who experienced childhood trauma, from the viewpoint of professionals who will ultimately deliver such a program.</p>

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