Depressive symptoms in women in the six months after miscarriage

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1992 Jan;166(1 Pt 1):104-9. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(92)91839-3.


This study, the first systematic investigation of the psychiatric impact of miscarriage, tests whether miscarriage markedly increases depressive symptoms in the 6 months after loss. We interviewed 382 miscarrying women entering the study at 2 weeks, 6 weeks, or 6 months after loss and, for comparison, 283 pregnant women and 318 community women not recently pregnant. Among women interviewed 2 weeks after miscarriage the proportion highly symptomatic on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale was 3.4 times that of pregnant women (95% confidence limits 2.0 and 5.0) and 4.3 times that of community women (95% confidence limits 3.0 and 5.8). Among women first interviewed 6 weeks and 6 months after miscarriage the proportion highly symptomatic was three times that of the community women. Women reinterviewed at 6 weeks and 6 months did not have elevated symptom levels, a result attributed to the unintended therapeutic and test effects of study interviews. Interviews were fully structured, readily administered by telephone by nonmedical personnel. The possibility that such interviews afford miscarrying women substantial psychologic benefits merits future investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy