A randomized trial of a bereavement intervention for pregnancy loss




Johnson, Olinda
Langford, Rae

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Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses


Objective: To examine the effects of a secondary bereavement intervention on grieving in women who experienced a miscarriage (pregnancy loss) at 12–20 weeks gestation.

Design: Experimental, posttest only, control group design. Setting: Obstetric emergency center of a county hospital in a large city.

Participants: Forty women who experienced complete spontaneous miscarriages in the first or second trimester (8–20 weeks gestation).

Methods: Participants were randomly assigned to the grief intervention treatment group or usual standard care control group. The Medical Professional Guidelines for Health Care Professionals were used to construct the perinatal grief intervention. The Perinatal Grief Scale (PGS) was completed during a routine follow-up visit 2 weeks postloss.

Results: A one-way multiple ANOVA (MANOVA) was used to examine the difference in grieving between the control and experimental groups. Three dependent variables were used: despair, difficulty coping, and active grieving. Analysis revealed a significant difference on the combined dependent variables, F(3, 36) = 22.40, p < .000. When considering the three dependent variables separately, the treatment group displayed significantly lower levels of despair, F(1, 38) = 42.27, p < .001. Active grieving was high in both groups with the treatment group mean higher than the control group. Group means were similar for coping difficulty.

Conclusion: A bereavement intervention administered immediately after the miscarriage promotes women’s ability to cope with early pregnancy loss.


Article originally published in Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 44(4), 492–499. English. Published Online 2015. https://doi.org/10.1111/1552-6909.12659


Bereavement, Pregnancy loss


This is the publisher’s version of an article that is available at https://doi.org/10.1111/1552-6909.12659. Recommended citation: Johnson, O. P., & Langford, R. W. (2015). A randomized trial of a bereavement intervention for pregnancy loss. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 44(4), 492–499. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.