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Evaluation of a perinatal grief support team

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      An analysis of the effects of intervention from a perinatal grief support team was begun in 1982. Seventy-eight women experiencing stillbirth or early perinatal death were randomly assigned to either the grief support team's protocol of care or to the control group who received routine hospital care. Assessment was carried out on 34 participants, 16 from the control group and 18 from the treatment, 6 months after delivery. A three-part self-administered, self-rating grief index questionnaire was used. There was no statistical difference on overall grief scores between the two matched groups. The treatment group reported significantly lower scores than the control group on the two grief subscales of anger-hostility and physical symptoms. Women who reported more life changes before the perinatal death tended to have fewer problems with the symptomatology of grief. Social support was an important variable in explaining grief symptomatology. Women reporting low levels of social support who were in the treatment group had significantly lower mean scores on the grief subscales of anger-hostility, somatic experience, physical symptoms, and problems with vigor.

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