Funding sources: This research is supported by internal university funding.
Perinatal grief following a termination of pregnancy for foetal abnormality: the impact of coping strategies
Article first published online: 8 SEP 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 33, Issue 12, pages 1173–1182, December 2013
How to Cite
Lafarge, C., Mitchell, K. and Fox, P. (2013), Perinatal grief following a termination of pregnancy for foetal abnormality: the impact of coping strategies. Prenat. Diagn., 33: 1173–1182. doi: 10.1002/pd.4218
Conflicts of interest: Caroline Lafarge is a member of the volunteers' network of Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC), a charity that provides support to parents when an abnormality is detected in their baby.
- Issue published online: 5 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 8 SEP 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 13 AUG 2013 12:13PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 23 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 23 APR 2013
Pregnancy termination for foetal abnormality (TFA) can have significant psychological repercussions, but little is known about the coping strategies involved in dealing with TFA. This study examined the relationships between women's coping strategies and perinatal grief.
A total of 166 women completed a survey online. Coping and perinatal grief were measured using the Brief COPE and Short Perinatal Grief Scales. Data were analysed through multiple regression analyses.
Despite using mostly adaptive coping strategies, women's levels of grief were high and varied according to obstetric and termination variables. Grief was predicted by behavioural disengagement, venting, planning, religion, self-blame, being recently bereaved, being childless at the time of TFA, not having had children/being pregnant since TFA and uncertainty about the decision to terminate the pregnancy. Acceptance and positive reframing negatively predicted grief.
Identifying women vulnerable to poor psychological adjustment and promoting coping strategies associated with lower levels of grief may be beneficial. This could be addressed through information provision and interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.