Take part in the COPING project and improve care in our hospitals

by Claudia Ravaldi

The constructive relationship with hospitals is possible, desirable, healthy, economic.

We present our new project, the result of a year of intense work and ten years of Permanent Observatory on Perinatal Mourning (OPALE). Everyone can participate and leave their testimony directly to the hospitals. We hope that the COPING project can be used by bereaved parents and healthcare professionals to forge a pact of alliance and promote the necessary changes.

The origins of COPING

This project was born thanks to the work of the Permanent Observatory on Perinatal Mourning set up by CiaoLapo in 2010 after the first results of the national MemoryBox research, launched in 2008 and still ongoing.

The Memory Box research explores the aspects of medical and psychological care considered priority by parents affected by perinatal bereavement.

The analysis of the results allowed us to outline the strengths and weaknesses of perinatal bereavement care in Italy from 2000 onwards and to compare them with the results of two studies we conducted on operators (Lucina Study, published in Midwifery 2018, and Blossom Study, forthcoming).

The quantitative and qualitative data collected by the observatory have outlined a slow but progressive improvement on some aspects of care and highlighted numerous critical issues, including the disparity between Italian regions , the lack of knowledge of preventive health aspects, the difficulty in establishing uniform protocols and guidelines in hospitals guarantee respectful treatment to all users and their families .

Why Project Coping?

Coping is a term used in psychology and refers to the ability that a person affected by a medium or high degree of stress has to use adaptive and constructive strategies to cope with the event, avoiding maladaptive strategies, that is, ineffective or harmful.

Perinatal death is a highly stressful event, primarily for affected parents and families, but also for carers.

Being a subject that is not much covered in the training of health professionals, dealing with this event correctly, with the right coping strategies , can be difficult even for the operators who should provide assistance.

To meet at numerous requests from bereaved families and those of operators trained in over 200 trainings from 2007 to today we have developed this simple tool that has the aim of opening a constructive dialogue on the criticalities and strengths of assistance to the person and family affected by perinatal death and to implement the necessary changes.

We are sure that, as has already happened in other countries for years attentive to care in perinatal mourning, initiating an honest and constructive dialogue on perinatal bereavement with affected families may also be good for our country and finally lead to a global improvement in knowledge and practices, to the mutual satisfaction of service users and health professionals.

The rationale for the project, the grid to be filled in and the document compiled by Gabriele’s mother relating to her assistance are available in the documents area of the site.

Prof. Alfredo Vannacci, doctor

Dr. Claudia Ravaldi, physician

Dr. Daniela Carlevale, midwife

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