Pregnancy has different meanings to different women depending upon their circumstances. A number of qualitative studies have described the experience of miscarriage by women who had desired to carry their pregnancy to full term. The aim of this meta-analysis was to identify a scale of psychological reaction to miscarriage. Meta-analysis is a quantitative approach for reviewing articles from scientific journals through statistical analysis of findings from individual studies. In this review, a meta-analytic method was used to identify and analyze psychological reactions in women who have suffered a miscarriage. Different reactions to stress associated with the period following miscarriage were identified. The depression reaction had the highest average, weighted, unbiased estimate of effect (d(+) = 0.99) and was frequently associated with the experience of perinatal loss. Psychiatric morbidity was found after miscarriage in 27% of cases by a diagnostic interview ten days after miscarriage. The grief reaction had a medium d(+) of 0.56 in the studies included. However, grief after miscarriage differed from other types of grief after perinatal loss because the parents had no focus for their grief. The guilt is greater after miscarriage than after other types of perinatal loss. Measurement of the stress reaction and anxiety reaction seems to be difficult in the included studies, as evidenced by a low d(+) (0.17 and 0.16, respectively). It has been recommended that grief after perinatal loss be measured by an adapted instrument called the Perinatal Grief Scale Short Version.
2011. Vol. 4, 29-39 p.