Vilma Emužienė HAL - 2005:04, pp. 123. HAL/Sektionen för hälsa, 2006.
Problem area: It is important to understand how women view their abortion experiences retrospectively, how they reconstruct their meaning after undergoing personal, psychological and emotional events changes. The central aspect of the argument is that women’s retrospective understandings of abortion are not static and unchanging and these meanings are not the same for all women. Retrospective meanings are when with time women may bring new perceptions to their reflections on the first abortion experience. After many years this process can be a painful for women, because when they look back on something, they might discover more options than at the time of their abortions. They might think about their abortions as a mistake can feel varying degrees of pain, grief and loss. However some might feel that they have made the right decision.
THE AIMS OF MASTER THESIS
The overall aim of this master thesis was to investigate and describe how women create meaning about their experiences of first abortion.
The thesis is designed as a two parts study. Systematically review of the literature relating to abortion and women’s experiences was used in 1st study. A literature review based on thirty one scientific articles from 1989-2004, from the databases of PubMed, MUSE and Elin @ Blekinge, with the purpose to describe women’s experiences about abortion. A qualitative method with semi-structured interviews was used in 2 study. Data collected from gynecology units X and Y of Women’s Consulting Centers. Twelve women took part in a semi-structured interview one-two times (about 30 min. to 1 hour). Four women took part in interview before the abortion, then the first days following the abortion and eight women answered questions after few (1 to 12) months after abortion. The author was the sole interviewer to the participants and pilot-tested the interview guide with one woman.
Data analysis. Content analysis was used to classify the answers of the semi–structured questions. There was no specific theory used to classify information, data was the sole source of the analysis. The content analysis study goal is to offer knowledge of the experience relating to certain phenomenon (first abortion) and will also give a deeper understanding of the studied phenomenon. Through this analysis, the author tried to perceive the themes/categories in the written material.
Results. Three themes - meaning of abortion, psychological effects of the abortion, retrospective abortion experiences - emerged from the literature review (I part). Results of the qualitative study (II part) will be offered (presented) through the 4 main themes: struggling to find meaning of abortion for self and for life, coping with emotional subsequences, keeping on being who I was or perceiving life, wishing emotional supporting from family and friends. The result of the study showed that most of women experienced negative feelings after their first abortion, which they expressed verbally. However, those feelings are subjective. The results showed that, this knowledge would help us understand the importance of how to manage women feelings after their first abortion, in order to minimize their discomfort and alleviate the suffering.