Mourning after Perinatal Death-Prevalence of Symptoms and Treatment; A Narrative Review

Professor, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center, Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center, Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center, Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center, Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center, Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany


Abstract

Perinatal loss, especially in the advanced stages of pregnancy, is associated with severe psychological distress. Insufficient processing of the loss experience can result in a psychological disorder for some of those affected. This holds true especially for women who have suffered a pregnancy loss after the 20th week of pregnancy. Depressive disorders, symptoms of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders, and functional physical complaints can also be observed in the foreground. Following an evaluation of a current Cochrane review, the available studies on the evaluation of psychotherapeutic measures after perinatal loss provide no conclusive indicators for evidence-based approaches within the realm of secondary prevention. Health risks in women affected by the loss of a pregnancy have been alternatively proven by a number of studies. Thus, a noticeable desideratum of research exists with regards to empirically-controlled psychotherapeutic studies on evaluation of the treatment of grief reactions after the loss of a pregnancy.

Keywords


  • Mourning
  • Perinatal death
  • Prevalence
  • Symptoms
  • Treatment

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