Psychological and Medical Aspects of Pregnancy Loss

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Introduction: This curriculum is an interactive learning tool for students and professionals who work with women and families who have experienced pregnancy loss. The curriculum incorporates both medical and psychological aspects, with an emphasis on the emotional and mental health consequences of pregnancy loss, clinical considerations, and guidelines for interacting with patients and families who have experienced such a loss. Methods: Students’ mastery of the educational objectives is facilitated by the varied components of the curriculum. The curriculum’s unique electronic design promotes interactive learning through integration of audiovisual didactic training (medical and psychological), case vignettes with standardized patients, critiques and discussions by a multidisciplinary panel selected for their expertise in treatment issues for pregnancy loss, real patient interviews with testimony from women and couples with a history of pregnancy loss, and self-study guidelines for implementing clinical skills. Results: The curriculum was assigned at the start of every third-year medical student block rotation in OB/GYN at the Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCOM) from 2008 through 2012. When asked how much they agreed with the statement “overall, my impression of this training curriculum is favorable,” 52.6% of participants either agreed or strongly agreed. Another 44.3% reported neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the statement. When the sample was restricted to only those individuals who reported viewing the full curriculum, 73.6% either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement. When asked how useful they thought this training would be in their work with women who have experienced pregnancy loss, 96.2% said somewhat or extremely useful. Discussion: OB/GYN residents in PGY2 and PGY3 at DUCOM viewed portions of the curriculum throughout their training program. While not formally surveyed, the OB/GYN Program Director obtained informal feedback from residents reporting that they appreciated the clinical vignettes and found that they related to different scenarios in different manners.

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