Intervention Review

You have free access to this content

Support for mothers, fathers and families after perinatal death

  1. Laura Koopmans1,*,
  2. Trish Wilson2,
  3. Joanne Cacciatore3,
  4. Vicki Flenady4

Editorial Group: Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group

Published Online: 19 JUN 2013

Assessed as up-to-date: 15 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000452.pub3

How to Cite

Koopmans L, Wilson T, Cacciatore J, Flenady V. Support for mothers, fathers and families after perinatal death. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD000452. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000452.pub3.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Mater Health Services, Mater Medical Research Institute, Woolloongabba, Queensland, Australia

  2. 2

    Mater Mothers' Hospital, Education and Support Services, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

  3. 3

    Arizona State University, School of Social Work, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

  4. 4

    Mater Health Services, Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) Centre - Mater Medical Research Institute, Woolloongabba, Queensland, Australia

*Laura Koopmans, Mater Medical Research Institute, Mater Health Services, Level 2 Quarters Building, Annerley Road, Woolloongabba, Queensland, 4102, Australia.

Publication History

  1. Publication Status: New search for studies and content updated (no change to conclusions)
  2. Published Online: 19 JUN 2013



References to studies excluded from this review

  1. References to studies excluded from this review
  2. References to studies awaiting assessment
  3. Additional references
  4. References to other published versions of this review
Forrest 1982 {published data only}
Lake 1987 {published data only}
Lilford 1994 {published data only}

References to studies awaiting assessment

  1. References to studies excluded from this review
  2. References to studies awaiting assessment
  3. Additional references
  4. References to other published versions of this review
Kersting 2011b {published and unpublished data}
  • Kersting A, Kroker K, Schlicht S, Baust K, Wagner B. Efficacy of cognitive behavioral internet-based therapy in parents after the loss of a child during pregnancy: pilot data from a randomized controlled trial. Archives of Women's Mental Health 2011;14(6):465-77.

Additional references

  1. References to studies excluded from this review
  2. References to studies awaiting assessment
  3. Additional references
  4. References to other published versions of this review
Ambuehl 2002
Armentrout 2009
  • Armentrout D. Living with grief following removal of infant life support: parents' perspectives. Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America 2009;21(2):253-65.
Badenhorst 2006
  • Badenhorst W, Riches S, Turton P, Hughes P. The psychological effects of stillbirth and neonatal death on fathers: systematic review. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2006;27(4):245-56.
Badenhorst 2007
Baker 2009
Balaguer 2012
  • Balaguer A, Martin-Ancel A, Ortigoza-Escobar D, Escribano J, Argemi J. The model of palliative care in the perinatal setting: a review of the literature. BMC Pediatric 2012;12:25.
Bonanno 2001
Bonanno 2004
Breeze 2007
  • Breeze ACG, Lees CC, Kumar A, Missfelder-Lobos HH, Murdoch EM. Palliative care for prenatally diagnosed lethal fetal abnormality. Archives of Disease in Childhood. Fetal and Neonatal Edition 2007;92(1):F56-F58.
Brooks 2002
Buchi 2007
  • Buchi S, Morgeli H, Schnyder U, Jenewein J, Hepp U, Jina E, et al. Grief and post-traumatic growth in parents 2-6 years after the death of their extremely premature baby. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 2007;76(2):106-14.
Buchi 2009
  • Buchi S, Morgeli H, Schnyder U, Jenewein J, Glaser A, Fauchere JC, et al. Shared or discordant grief in couples 2-6 years after the death of their premature baby: effects on suffering and posttraumatic growth. Psychosomatics 2009;50(2):123-30.
Burnett 1997
Butler 2012
  • Butler RJ, Neimeyer RA. Constructions of death and loss: a personal and professional evolution. Reflections in Personal Construct Theory. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2012.
Cacciatore 2007
Cacciatore 2008a
  • Cacciatore J, DeFrain J, Jones KLC, Jones H. Stillbirth and the couple: a gender-based exploration. Journal of Family Social Work 2008;11(4):351-70.
Cacciatore 2008b
Chichester 2005
DeFrain 1990
  • DeFrain J, Martens L, Stork J, Stork W. The psychological effects of a stillbirth on surviving family members. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying 1990;22(2):81-108.
Doka 1999
  • Doka KJ. Disenfranchised grief. Bereavement Care 1999;18(3):37-9.
Evans 2008
Fish 1986
  • Fish W. Differences in grief intensity in bereaved parents. Champaigne, IL: Research Press Company, 1986.
Flenady 2009
  • Flenady V, King J, Charles A, Gardener G, Ellwood D, Day K, et al. PSANZ Clinical practice guideline for perinatal mortality. Perinatal Mortality Group Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand, April 2009; Vol. Version 2.2.
Flenady 2011a
Flenady 2011b
  • Flenady V, Koopmans L, Middleton P, Frøen JF, Smith GC, Gibbons K, et al. Major risk factors for stillbirth in high-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet 2011;377(9774):1331-40.
Forrest 1989
  • Forrest G. Care of the bereaved after perinatal death. In: Chalmers I, Enkin MW, Keirse MJNC editor(s). Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989:1423-30.
Froen 2011
Gatrad 2008
Giles 1970
Glanz 2008
  • Glanz K, Rimer BK, Viswanath K. Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research, and Practice. San Francisco CA, US: Jossey-Bass, 2008.
Gold 2007a
Gold 2008
  • Gold KJ, Schwenk TL, Johnson TRB. Brief report: sedatives for mothers of stillborn infants: views from a national survey of obstetricians. Journal of Women's Health 2008;17(10):1605-7.
Gold 2010
Gravensteen 2012
  • Gravensteen IK, Helgadottir LB, Jacobsen EM, Sandset PM, Ekeberg Ø. Long-term impact of intrauterine fetal death on quality of life and depression: a case-control study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2012;12:43.
Gündel 2003
Harper 1994
Henley 2008
  • Henley A, Schott J. The death of a baby before, during or shortly after birth: good practice from the parents' perspective. Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 2008;13(5):325-8.
Higgins 2011
  • Higgins JPT, Green S (Eds). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Version 5.1.0 [updated March 2011]. The Cochrane Collaboration. Available from 2011.
Hughes 2002
Hughes 2003
Husain 2008
Hutti 2005
Janzen 2003-2004
  • Janzen L, Cadell S, Westhues A. From death notification through the funeral: bereaved parents' experience and their advice to professionals. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying 2003-2004;48(2):149-64.
Kaempf 2009
  • Kaempf JW, Tomlinson MW, Campbell B, Ferguson L, Stewart VT. Counseling pregnant women who may deliver extremely premature infants: medical care guidelines, family choices, and neonatal outcomes. Pediatrics 2009;123(6):1509-15.
Kain 2006
  • Kain VJ. Palliative care delivery in the NICU: what barriers do neonatal nurses face?. Neonatal Network 2006;25(6):387-92.
Kamm 2001
Keane 2009
  • Keane TM, Marx BP, Sloan DM. Post-traumatic stress disorder: definition, prevalence, and risk factors. In: Shiromani PJ, Keane TM, LeDoux JE editor(s). Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Basic Science and Clinical Practice. New York: Humana Press, 2009:1-19.
Kennell 1970
Kersting 2002
Kersting 2004
  • Kersting A, Reutemann M, Ohrmann P, Baez E, Klockenbusch W, Lanczik M, et al. Grief after termination of pregnancy due to fetal malformation. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2004;25(2):163-9.
Kersting 2006
  • Kersting A, Kroker K, Steinhard J. Does abortion technique influence the course of perinatal grief in second trimester termination for fetal anomalies?. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2006;194(6):1743.
Kersting 2007
  • Kersting A, Kroker K, Steinhard J, Ludorff K, Wesselmannn U, Ohrmann P, et al. Complicated grief after traumatic loss: a 14-month follow up study. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 2007;257(8):437-43.
Kersting 2009
Kersting 2011a
  • Kersting A, Kroker K, Schlicht S, Wagner B. Internet-based treatment after pregnancy loss: concept and case study. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology 2011;32(2):72-8.
Kirkley-Best 1982
Klass 1996
  • Klass D, Silverman PR, Nickman SL. Continuing Bonds: New Understandings of Grief. Philadelphia PA, US: Taylor & Francis, 1996.
Klass 1999
  • Klass D. The Spiritual Lives of Bereaved Parents. Philadelphia, US: Brunner/Mazel, 1999.
Knaevelsrud 2007
  • Knaevelsrud C, Maercker A. Internet-based treatment for PTSD reduces distress and facilitates the development of a strong therapeutic alliance: a randomized controlled clinical trial. BMC Psychiatry 2007;7:13.
Korenromp 2005
Korenromp 2007
Laing 2008
Lancet Stillbirth series 2011
  • Stillbirth series. Lancet. Available from 2011.
Lange 2003
  • Lange A, Rietdijk D, Hudcovicova M, van de Ven JP, Schrieken B, Emmelkamp PM. Interapy: a controlled randomized trial of the standardized treatment of posttraumatic stress through the internet. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2003;71(5):901-9.
Lichtenthal 2004
Lydon-Rochelle 2001
  • Lydon-Rochelle M, Holt VL, Easterling TR, Martin DP. Risk of uterine rupture during labor among women with a prior cesarean delivery. New England Journal of Medicine 2001;345(1):3-8.
Mashegoane 1999
  • Mashegoane S, Mabasa L, Mashego T. Stillbirth grief in hospital settings: assessing the intervention practices of professional helpers. In: Madu S, Baguma P, Pritz A editor(s). Cross-cultural Dialogue on Psychotherapy in Africa. Sovenga, South Africa: UNIN Pres, 1999:374.
Matthews 2002
McCabe 2002
McGraw 2008
Munson 2007
  • Munson D. Withdrawal of mechanical ventilation in pediatric and neonatal intensive care units. Pediatric Clinics of North America 2007;54(5):773-85, xii.
Murray 1999
  • Murray JA, Terry DJ. Parental reactions to infant death:the effects of resources and coping. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 1999;18(3):341-69.
Murray 2000
Najman 1993
Neimeyer 2010
  • Neimeyer RA. Grief counselling and therapy: the case for humility. Bereavement Care 2010;29(1):4-7.
Nelson 2008
NICE 2010
  • Anonymous. NICE set to change its advice on holding stillborn babies. Paediatric Nursing 2010;22(2):5.
O'Neil 2013
  • O'Neill SM, Kearney PM, Kenny LC, Khashan AS, Henriksen TB, Lutomski JE, et al. Caesarean delivery and subsequent stillbirth or miscarriage: systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One 2013;8(1):e54588.
Parkes 1972
  • Parkes CM. Bereavement: Studies of Grief in Adult Life. London: Tavistock, 1972.
Radestad 1996
  • Radestad I, Steineck G, Nordin C, Sjogren B. Psychological complications after stillbirth: influence of memories and immediate management: population based study. British Medical Journal 1996;312(7045):1505-8.
Radestad 2009
Ransohoff-Adler 1989
  • Ransohoff-Adler M, Berger CS. When newborns die: do we practice what we preach?. Journal of Perinatology 1989;9(3):311-7.
Raphael 1984
  • Raphael, B. The Anatomy of Bereavement: A Handbook for the Caring Professions. London: Hutchinson, 1984.
Rennie 2008
RevMan 2012 [Computer program]
  • The Nordic Cochrane Centre, The Cochrane Collaboration. Review Manager (RevMan). Version 5.2. Copenhagen: The Nordic Cochrane Centre, The Cochrane Collaboration, 2012.
Robinson 1999
Samuelsson 2001
SANDS 2010
  • Stillbirth, Neonatal Death Support (SANDS). Seeing and holding your baby - Campaign update. 2010 June 25.
Schulze 2007
  • Schulze A, Wermuth I. Compassionate care for terminally ill term and preterm infants. Zeitschrift fur Geburtshilfe und Neonatologie 2007;211(2):54-9.
Scully 2007
Shear 2005
Shear 2011
Shinwell 2008
Shreffler 2012
  • Shreffler K, Hill T, Cacciatore J. The impact of infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, and child death on marital dissolution. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 2012;53(2):91-107.
Silver 2010
Sloan 2008
Steer 2008
Stroebe 1998
  • Stroebe M, Schut H. Culture and grief. Bereavement Care 1998;17(1):7-11.
Stroebe 2008a
  • Stroebe M, Hansson R, Schut H, Stroebe W. Handbook of Bereavement Research and Practice. Washington DC: American Psychological Association, 2008.
Stroebe 2008b
  • Stroebe M, van der Houwen K, Schut H. Bereavement support, intervention and research on the internet: a critical review. In: Stroebe M, Hansson R, Schut H, Stroebe W editor(s). Handbook of Bereavement Research and Practice. Advances in Theory and Intervention. Washington DC, US: American Psychological Association, 2008.
Trulsson 2004
Turton 2001
Turton 2009
Umphrey 2011
  • Umphrey LR, Cacciatore J. Coping with the ultimate deprivation: narrative themes in a parental bereavement support group. Omega (Westport) 2011;63(2):141-60.
Vance 2002
Vaughan 2008
Villar 2007
  • Villar J, Carroli G, Zavaleta N, Donner A, Wojdyla D, Faundes A, et al. Maternal and neonatal individual risks and benefits associated with caesarean delivery: multicentre prospective study. BMJ (Clinical Research Edition) 2007;335(7628):1025.
Wagner 2006
Walter 2010
  • Walter T. Grief and culture: a checklist. Bereavement Care 2010;29(2):5-9.
Warner 2001
Williams 2008
  • Williams C, Munson D, Zupancic J, Kirpalani H. Supporting bereaved parents: practical steps in providing compassionate perinatal and neonatal end-of-life care: a North American perspective. Seminars In Fetal & Neonatal Medicine 2008;13(5):335-40.
Wing 2001
  • Wing D, Clance P, Burge-Callaway K, Armistead L. Understanding gender difference in bereavement following the death of an infant: implications for treatment. Psychotherapy 2001;38(1):60-72.
Zeanah 1993
  • Zeanah CH, Dailey JV, Rosenblatt MJ, Saller DN. Do women grieve after terminating pregnancies because of fetal anomalies? A controlled investigation. Obstetrics and Gynecology 1993;82(2):270-5.
Zeanah 2006
Zhang 2006
  • Zhang B, El-Jawahri A, Prigerson H. Update on bereavement research: evidence-based guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of complicated bereavement. Journal of Palliative Medicine 2006;9(5):1188-203.

References to other published versions of this review

  1. References to studies excluded from this review
  2. References to studies awaiting assessment
  3. Additional references
  4. References to other published versions of this review
Chambers 1998
  • Chambers HM, Chan FY. Support for women/families after perinatal death. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1998, Issue 2. [DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000452]
Flenady 2008