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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3070

Title: Psychological distress following miscarriage and stillbirth: an examination of grief, depression and anxiety in relation to gestational length, women’s attributions, perception of care and provision of information
Authors: Clauss, Danielle Kerns
Keywords: Clinical psychology;Miscarriage -- Psychological aspects;Stillbirth -- Psychological aspects
Issue Date: 31-Jul-2009
Abstract: Over half a million women in the United States experience a miscarriage or stillbirth annually. Research suggests that miscarriage and stillbirth are loss events associated with grief and an increased risk for psychological morbidity. This study assessed women’s psychological responses to miscarriage (n = 13) and stillbirth (n = 6) and evaluated whether psychological distress is influenced by gestational length, attributions, perception of care and the provision of information. Grief and depressive reactions were found to be salient features of women’s psychological responses. Later gestational length was associated with greater grief intensity, with women experiencing a stillbirth scoring significantly higher on the Perinatal Grief Scale as compared to women experiencing a miscarriage. Women who attributed the loss to specific behaviors experienced greater levels of grief, trait anxiety and hyper-arousal symptoms as compared to women who did not engage in behavioral self-blame. Women who attributed the loss to characterological traits experienced greater levels of overall grief and grief associated with difficulty coping as compared to women who did not make this attribution. Being provided information about possible causes for the loss was associated with less cognitive, emotional and behavioral avoidance while receiving information about the specific cause of the loss was associated with increased avoidance in these areas. Given the small sample size and the large range of time elapsed since loss (3 weeks to 32 years), the findings should be interpreted cautiously and are best considered as trend data.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3070
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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