+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Psychological changes in parents eight months after the loss of an infant from stillbirth, neonatal death, or sudden infant death syndrome--a longitudinal study

Psychological changes in parents eight months after the loss of an infant from stillbirth, neonatal death, or sudden infant death syndrome--a longitudinal study

Pediatrics 96(5 Pt 1): 933-938

We proposed to measure part of the natural history of grief by determining the changes in the psychological symptoms experienced by bereaved parents over the 8 months after the loss of an infant from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), neonatal death (NND), or stillbirth (SB). Parents were interviewed twice, at 2 and 8 months after the loss. A total of 220 bereaved families (45 SIDS, 93 NND, and 82 SB) were compared with 226 control families who had a live born child. Comparison was based on responses to a standardized measure of anxiety and depression (Delusions-Symptoms-States Inventory). For separate cross-sectional comparison at both 2 and 8 months, significant differences were noted in the frequency of maternal symptoms of anxiety and depression between bereaved and control groups (P < .001). Such differences were present for paternal anxiety and depression at 2 months, but not 8 months. A second series of analysis examined longitudinal changes in symptom frequency between 2 and 8 months for each bereaved group. For mothers, the changes were significant for anxiety and depression: SIDS and NND (P < .001), SB (P < .01). For fathers, the changes for anxiety and depression in SIDS were P < .01; NND, P < .05 for anxiety and P < .01 per depression; changes were not significant for SB. At 2 months, relative risks for symptoms of maternal anxiety were significant for all three bereaved groups: SIDS, 22.4; NND, 5.4; and SB, 5.1. Comparable significant figures at 8 months were: SIDS, 5.5; NND, 3.9; and SB, 3.0, respectively. For depression the results for 2 months were: SIDS, 8.6; NND, 5.9; and SB, 6.7 (all significant) while at 8 months the results were: SIDS, 5.1; NND, 3.8; and SB, 2.4 (SB group not significant). For fathers the relevant risks were generally lower. At 2 months, anxiety levels were higher than controls in all three groups, and for depression in the SIDS and SB groups. At 8 months, significant results persisted only in the SB group. These data indicate that bereaved parents have a marked reduction in the symptoms of mental illness over the first 8 months after the loss. Although the changes over time are significant for both mothers and fathers, mothers at 8 months still demonstrated higher levels of anxiety and depression when compared with controls. These levels of symptoms are far less evident for fathers at 8 months.

Please choose payment method:

(PDF emailed within 1 workday: $29.90)

Accession: 044088562

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 7478838

Related references

Evidence for infection, inflammation and shock in sudden infant death: parallels between a neonatal rat model of sudden death and infants who died of sudden infant death syndrome. Innate Immunity 14(3): 145-152, 2008

Evolution of bereavement counselling in sudden infant death syndrome neonatal death and stillbirth. Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health 28(3): 204-209, 1992

Stillbirth, neonatal death, and sudden infant death syndrome. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing 8(1-6): 243-257, 1985

Sudden infant death syndrome: parents' perceptions and responses to the loss of their infant. Research in Nursing and Health 5(2): 55-61, 1982

Babies sleeping with parents and sudden infant death syndrome. Invoking sudden infant death syndrome in cosleeping may be misleading. Bmj 321(7267): 1019; Author Reply 1020, 2000

Early parental responses to sudden infant death, stillbirth or neonatal death. Medical Journal of Australia 155(5): 292-297, 1991

Stillbirth, neonatal death and sudden infant death (SIDS): parental reactions. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 28(2): 104-114, 1987

Church Attendance, Religious Affiliation And Parental Responses To Sudden Infant Death, Neonatal Death And Stillbirth. Omega--Journal of Death and Dying 31(1): 51-58, 1995

Brainstem auditory evoked potentials in adult and infant sleep apnea syndromes, including sudden infant death syndrome and near-miss for sudden infant death. Annals of the new York Academy of Sciences 388: 443-465, 1982

Comparison of [125I]iodomelatonin binding sites in infant cerebellum of sudden infant death syndrome and non-sudden infant death syndrome. Neuroscience Letters 197(2): 154-158, 1995

Trends in socioeconomic inequalities in risk of sudden infant death syndrome, other causes of infant mortality, and stillbirth in Scotland: population based study. Bmj 344: E1552, 2012

Unexplained infant and child death: a review of sudden infant death syndrome, sudden unexplained infant death, and child maltreatment fatalities including shaken baby syndrome. Current Opinion in Pediatrics 18(2): 196-200, 2006

Sudden Death Liaison Officer Program. A Police Initiated Support Service for Bereaved Parents That Ensures Correct Reporting of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Pediatric Research 45: 35a-35a, 1999

Comparison of developmental outcome and family background of near miss sudden infant death syndrome and siblings of sudden infant death syndrome infants. Pediatric Research 19(4 Part 2): 201A, 1985

Sudden infant death syndrome Dawne J Gurbutt Sudden infant death syndrome Radcliffe Publishing 128 £17.95 13 978-1846190384 139781846190384 [Formula: see text. Emergency Nurse 15(3): 6-6, 2007