The miscarriage circle of care: towards leveraging online spaces for social support

Mona Y. Alqassim*, K. Cassie Kresnye, Katie A. Siek, John Lee, Maria K. Wolters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: Lack of social support during and after miscarriage can greatly affect mental wellbeing. With miscarriages being a common experience, there remains a discrepancy in the social support received after a pregnancy is lost.

Method: 42 people who had experienced at least one miscarriage took part in an Asynchronous Remote Community (ARC) study. The study involved 16 activities (discussions, creative tasks, and surveys) in two closed, secret Facebook groups over eight weeks. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse quantitative data, and content analysis was used for qualitative data.

Results: There were two main miscarriage care networks, formal (health care providers) and informal (friends, family, work colleagues). The formal care network was the most trusted informational support source, while the informal care network was the main source of tangible support. However, often, participants' care networks were unable to provide sufficient informational, emotional, esteem, and network support. Peers who also had experienced miscarriage played a crucial role in addressing these gaps in social support. Technology use varied greatly, with smartphone use as the only common denominator. While there was a range of online support sources, participants tended to focus on only a few, and there was no single common preferred source.

Discussion: We propose a Miscarriage Circle of Care Model (MCCM), with peer advisors playing a central role in improving communication channels and social support provision. We show how the MCCM can be used to identify gaps in service provision and opportunities where technology can be leveraged to fill those gaps.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
Number of pages19
JournalBMC Women's Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • miscarriage
  • pregnancy loss
  • social support
  • care network
  • circle of care
  • eHealth
  • mHealth


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