"I Felt Like Less Than a Shadow in the Room": Systematic Review of the Experiences and Needs of New Fathers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Given the prevalence of fathers who experience psychological distress during the perinatal period, and the tendency of health care to consider and treat fathers as secondary figures, new attitudes and systems are needed to effectively target this population. The current review sought to investigate and report the voices of fathers of "new" children, specifically their experiences of available support throughout the perinatal period and their support needs. A systematic search was undertaken, and a narrative synthesis was conducted to integrate the experiences of 1,326 fathers across 39 articles. Findings suggest that fathers access support from a variety of sources (formal and informal); experience barriers to engaging with support (unaware and/or inaccessible, excluded and/or belittled, and stigma and/or privacy); and lastly, have various support needs (tailored, flexible, credible, and practical). This research has implications for the attitudes and behavior of health care, the refinement of existing and new interventions, and the direction of future research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
Early online date30 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • "New" fathers
  • E-health
  • Mental health supports
  • Narrative synthesis
  • Perinatal health

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