OBJECTIVE: The current scoping review sought to map and summarize the available evidence on the key variables of paternal involvement during pregnancy. METHODS: The scoping review's methodological framework was based on the guidelines proposed by Peters et al. (2015). A search was conducted on all major databases including: PubMed, the Cochrane Library, CINAHAL, and PsycINFO. Only articles specific to prenatal fathers' involvement (including childbirth) published in the English language were included. The Joanna Briggs Institute Meta-Analysis of Statistics Assessment and Review Instrument was used to extract and review the data. RESULTS: This review identified a total set of five studies: four qualitative studies and one hermeneutic review. The following six key variables of paternal involvement during pregnancy were identified: (a) attending doctor appointments, (b) seeking information (c) providing emotional and physical support to their partner, (d) shared decision-making, (e) presence during childbirth, and (f) providing financial support. CONCLUSION: The current scoping review presents an initial step in clarifying how fathers involve themselves during their partners' pregnancies. It demonstrates the paucity of research in the field and recommends future studies to be conducted using not only qualitative but quantitative designs as well as to include participants other than the traditional couple (mother-father) dyad. Also, researchers are encouraged to take into account sociocultural differences when interpreting results in order to develop a foundation of cross-cultural awareness and knowledge on paternal involvement during pregnancy worldwide.
- fathers' roles
- prenatal paternal involvement
- sociocultural differences in fathering