OBJECTIVE : to identify and describe the support needs of high-risk antenatal patients
hospitalised for more than five days.
DESIGN : a qualitative, explorative and descriptive design. In-depth interviews were
conducted with pregnant women during their stay in hospital until data saturation
SETTING : an antenatal unit in a private hospital in Gauteng Province, South Africa.
PARTICIPANTS : eleven antepartum women who had been hospitalised for five days or
more and were of any gestation period.
Findings: three main themes emerged: (a) a need for social support; (b)
improvement of the environment; and (c) assistance with emotional adaptation and
acceptance of prolonged hospitalisation.
KEY CONCLUSION : prolonged hospitalisation of high-risk antenatal patients disrupts
the usual adaptation to pregnancy. These patients develop specific needs during
hospitalisation. Findings suggest that the length of hospitalisation influences the
specific support needs of antenatal patients.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE : this study identified a link between social and
environmental support, emotional adaptation, acceptance of hospitalisation of highrisk
antenatal patients and improvement of their health status. Through reflection on
these themes, recommendations can be made and strategies implemented to meet
the support needs of high-risk antenatal patients.