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Journal of Pregnancy
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 375653, 6 pages
Research Article

Women's Experiences of Preeclampsia: Australian Action on Preeclampsia Survey of Women and Their Confidants

1Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, The University of Melbourne and Department of Perinatal Medicine, Royal Women's Hospital, 20 Flemington Road, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
2Australian Action on Pre-Eclampsia, P.O. Box 29, Carlton South, VIC 3053, Australia
3Division of Nursing & Midwifery, La Trobe University/Mercy Hospital for Women, 163 Studley Road, Heidelberg, VIC 3084, Australia
4Department of Perinatal Medicine, Royal Women’s Hospital, 20 Flemington Road, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia

Received 19 October 2010; Accepted 18 January 2011

Academic Editor: Keith A. Eddleman

Copyright © 2011 C. East et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. The experience of normal pregnancy is often disrupted for women with preeclampsia (PE). Materials and Methods. Postal survey of the 112 members of the consumer group, Australian Action on Pre-Eclampsia (AAPEC). Results. Surveys were returned by 68 women ( response rate) and from 64 ( ) partners, close relatives or friends. Respondents reported experiencing pre-eclampsia ( ), eclampsia ( ), and/or Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, and Low Platelets (HELLP syndrome) ( ). Many women had no knowledge of PE prior to diagnosis ( ) and, once diagnosed, did not appreciate how serious or life threatening it was ( ). Women wanted access to information about PE. Their experience contributed substantial anxiety towards future pregnancies. Partners/friends/relatives expressed fear for the woman and/or her baby and had no prior understanding of PE. Conclusions. The PE experience had a substantial effect on women, their confidants, and their babies and affected their approach to future pregnancies. Access to information about PE was viewed as very important.