Grief reactions to perinatal death--a follow-up study

Can J Psychiatry. 1984 Feb;29(1):14-9. doi: 10.1177/070674378402900104.


Thirty mothers who experienced a perinatal death were offered crisis intervention aimed at facilitating their grief process at a few days, 3 weeks and 3 months after the loss. Evaluation of maternal grief reactions and their general psychological adjustment took place at these 3 early contacts and 1 to 2 years later. This last assessment included a semi-structured clinical interview and a number of self-rating scales (Life Events Schedule, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and a Mourning Scale). Six of the 30 mothers showed inappropriate grief reactions at the 3 week and 3 month assessment. By the long term follow up only 1 of these 6 displayed depression or other psychiatric disorder. Three other women not identified as high risk candidates by the 3 month evaluation developed high BDI scores and clinical depressions at the 1 to 2 year assessment. Variables associated with abnormal grief and depression such as social support systems, communication between the parents, maternal dreams, and hospital practices were examined and discussed indicating possibilities for future research.

MeSH terms

  • Death*
  • Diseases in Twins
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / psychology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Grief*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Life Change Events
  • Marriage
  • Pregnancy