Posttraumatic growth following pregnancy termination for fetal abnormality: the predictive role of coping strategies and perinatal grief

Journal article


Lafarge, Caroline, Mitchell, Kathryn and Fox, Pauline 2017. Posttraumatic growth following pregnancy termination for fetal abnormality: the predictive role of coping strategies and perinatal grief. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping. https://doi.org/10.1080/10615806.2016.1278433
AuthorsLafarge, Caroline, Mitchell, Kathryn and Fox, Pauline
Abstract

Background: Research about termination for fetal abnormality (TFA) suggests that it is a traumatic event with potential negative psychological consequences. However, evidence also indicates that following traumatic events individuals may experience growth. Although TFA’s negative psychological outcomes are well documented, little is known of the potential for growth following this event. Therefore, the study’s objectives were to measure posttraumatic growth (PTG) post-TFA, examine the relationship between PTG, perinatal grief and coping, and determine the predictors of PTG. Design: An online, retrospective survey was conducted with 161 women. Methods: Eligible participants were women over 18 who had undergone TFA. Participants were recruited from a support organisation. They completed the Brief COPE, Short Perinatal Grief Scale and Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. Data were analysed using regression analyses. Results: Moderate levels of PTG were observed for “relating to others,” “personal strengths” and “appreciation of life.” “Positive reframing” was a significant predictor of PTG. Despite using mainly “adaptive” coping strategies, women’s grief levels were high. Conclusions: “Adaptive” coping strategies such as, “positive reframing” are relevant to TFA. They may act as protective factors against distress and as foundations for growth, implicating that interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which aim to reframe women’s experience, may be beneficial

Background: Research about termination for fetal abnormality (TFA) suggests that it is a traumatic event with potential negative psychological consequences. However, evidence also indicates that following traumatic events individuals may experience growth. Although TFA’s negative psychological outcomes are well documented, little is known of the potential for growth following this event. Therefore, the study’s objectives were to measure posttraumatic growth (PTG) post-TFA, examine the relationship between PTG, perinatal grief and coping, and determine the predictors of PTG.

Design: An online, retrospective survey was conducted with 161 women.

Methods: Eligible participants were women over 18 who had undergone TFA. Participants were recruited from a support organisation. They completed the Brief COPE, Short Perinatal Grief Scale and Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. Data were analysed using regression analyses.

Results: Moderate levels of PTG were observed for “relating to others,” “personal strengths” and “appreciation of life.” “Positive reframing” was a significant predictor of PTG. Despite using mainly “adaptive” coping strategies, women’s grief levels were high.

Conclusions: “Adaptive” coping strategies such as, “positive reframing” are relevant to TFA. They may act as protective factors against distress and as foundations for growth, implicating that interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which aim to reframe women’s experience, may be beneficial

KeywordsFetal abnormality; Posttraumatic growth; Abortion; Trauma; Perinatal health; Termination of pregnancy; Coping strategies; Coping
Year2017
JournalAnxiety, Stress, & Coping
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN10615806
14772205
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/10615806.2016.1278433
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/621496
hdl:10545/621496
Publication dates12 Jan 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Mar 2017, 14:43
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ContributorsUniversity of West London and University of Derby
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