• Development of antenatal education to raise awareness of the risk of relationship conflict

      Steen, Mary; Downe, Soo; Graham-Kevan, Niki; University of Chester ; University of Central Lancashire ; University of Central Lancashire (Redactive Publishing, 2011-06)
      Background: Relationship conflict and abuse occurs in every day life and often starts or escalates during pregnancy with devasting health and well-being consequences, the most severe being loss of life. This paper is the second in a series of two - the first paper described and discussed the first phase of the study, exploring the experiences of participants attending Start Treating Others Positively, a UK, Leeds-based charity. Aim: To explore STOP's participants' views of what could be included in an antenatal parenting education session for expectant parents to enable and empower them to manage emotions and behaviour and prevent any relationship conflict escalating to abuse. Method: An exploratory study involving 20 parents attending sessions organised by STOP. The university's health ethics committee granted approval and the standards recommended by the NHS Research Governance Framework for service users' involvement in research were applied. During December 2007 and January 2008, a schedule of open and closed questions was used to guide interviews. Data analysis were conducted by a thematic analysis that involved the identification of emerging themes. Participants' suggestions of useful exercises and techniques to be included in an antenataleducation programme were recorded. Findings: Four themes emerged from the data: 'Why has nobody thought about it before?', 'Sharing the parenting,' 'learning to listen', 'Creating space for me and for you'. Exercises and techniques for an antenatal education programme were suggested that would increase awareness of the risks of relationship conflict and provide preventative methods. Conclusions: Participants' views and suggestions assisted in the development of a specific session on 'managing emotions, behaviour and any relationship conflict when becoming a parent'. Further research will be undertaken to measure the impact of this newly developed programme for expectant parents.