Grief reactions of couples to perinatal loss: a one-year prospective follow-up


Grief reactions of couples to perinatal loss: a one-year prospective follow-up


Tseng YF; Cheng HR; Chen YP; Yang SF; Cheng PT



Journal of Clinical Nursing




Gee; Grief; Marital Relationship; Miscarriage; Parents; Perinatal Loss; Social Support; Stillbirth


BACKGROUND: Perinatal losses are traumatic events in the lives of families and can have serious long-term consequences for the psychological health of parents and any subsequent children. DESIGN: A prospective follow-up study. METHODS: We recruited, at a teaching hospital in southern Taiwan, a convenience sample of 30 couples whose babies either miscarried or were stillborn. At one month (T1), three months (T2), six months (T3), and one year (T4) after the pregnancy loss, all participants completed four questionnaires. To analyze the changing status of their grief and its related factors, we used a Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) to account for correlations between repeated observations. RESULTS: Post-bereavement grief levels fell over the four time-points. Mothers reported feeling more grief than did the fathers. Couples with a history of infertility, no religious beliefs, or no living children before the loss felt more grief from a perinatal miscarriage or stillbirth. Furthermore, couples reported more grief if their marital satisfaction level was low, if their socioemotional support from their in-laws was low, or if they had never participated in a ritual for their deceased baby. CONCLUSIONS: Three months post-loss is the crucial period for bereaved parents after a perinatal loss. Being a parent, having no previous living children, and low-level socioemotional support from the mother's parents-in-law are significant high-risk factors for a high level of grief one year after perinatal death. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: We recommend that health professionals increase their ability to identify the factors that psychologically affect post-loss grief. Active post-loss follow-up programs should focus on these factors to offer specific support and counselling. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


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Citation List Month

November 2017 List


Tseng, Ying-Fen
Cheng, Hsiu-Rong
Chen, Yu-Ping
Yang, Shu-Fei
Cheng, Pi-Tzu
Journal Article
J Clin Nurs. 2017 Sep 7. doi: 10.1111/jocn.14059.


Tseng YF; Cheng HR; Chen YP; Yang SF; Cheng PT, “Grief reactions of couples to perinatal loss: a one-year prospective follow-up,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed August 11, 2022,

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