Short-term grief after an elective abortion.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To identify the short-term grief response after elective abortion. DESIGN: Descriptive, comparative study. SETTING: Instruments were administered in a women's health clinic. PARTICIPANTS: Ninety-three women, 45 who had a history of elective abortion within the past 1 to 14 months and 48 who had never had an abortion. Inclusion criteria included no perinatal losses within the past 5 years; no documented psychiatric history; and ability to read, write, and comprehend English. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Nature and intensity of short-term grief. RESULTS: Women with a history of elective abortion experienced grief in terms of loss of control, death anxiety, and dependency. Although there were no statistically significant differences in the intensity of grief in women who had a history of elective abortion and the comparison group, there was an overall trend toward higher grief intensities in the abortion group. Presence of living children, perceived pressure to have the abortion, and the number of abortions appear to affect the intensity of the short-term grief response. CONCLUSION: Elective abortion has the potential for eliciting a short-term grief response. Research is needed to identify which women are at greatest risk. This grief response should be acknowledged and appropriate interventions undertaken.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-183
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing : JOGNN / NAACOG
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery


Dive into the research topics of 'Short-term grief after an elective abortion.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this