The grief response in the partners of women who miscarry

Br J Med Psychol. 1996 Dec;69 ( Pt 4):313-27. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8341.1996.tb01875.x.


Research over the last two decades has revealed that significant psychological effects may ensue for women who suffer spontaneous abortion. The psychological impact on their male partners has been largely overlooked. This paper examines the psychological impact on the male partners of 126 British women who suffered miscarriage. Higher than anticipated levels of grief and stress were found on the Perinatal Grief Scale and the Impact of Events Scale respectively, indicating that these men were strongly affected by the miscarriage. The duration of the pregnancy prior to miscarriage, and the experience of confirmatory imaging of the foetus via routine ultrasound scan, were factors related to raised levels of grief and stress. A small number of semi-structured interviews appeared to confirm that some men displayed symptoms of Bowlby's (1961) first stage of bereavement. These were modified by differences in the expected role behaviour of men, but in other respects were comparable to the findings of a recent study of an Australian cohort of women who miscarried (Conway, 1995).

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / psychology*
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • England
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Grief*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal / psychology