The Role of the Nurse in Family Coping after Miscarriage
- Wesley Hannebaum
OBJECTIVE To explore men's psychological reaction and its evolutionary course over 1 year after miscarriage, to compare this reaction with that of their female partners and to investigate the possible correlation of psychological states between partners. DESIGN Prospective 1-year longitudinal observational study. SETTING A university-affiliated tertiary referral hospital in Hong Kong. Sample Eighty-three miscarrying couples. METHODS The psychological reactions of miscarrying women and their male partners were assessed immediately and at 3, 6 and 12 months after miscarriage. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Psychological outcomes were assessed using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). RESULTS A substantial proportion of men (43.4%) scored high in GHQ-12 and 16.9% scored high in BDI immediately after miscarriage. In men, both psychometric scores decreased sharply within the first 3 months and reached a plateau. When compared with women, men scored significantly lower in GHQ-12 and BDI during the 1-year course after miscarriage. A planned pregnancy was a significant risk factor (P = 0.008) associated with an initial high BDI score in men. There was a significant positive correlation between couples in both GHQ-12 and BDI scores throughout the longitudinal course. CONCLUSIONS Although the psychological impact of miscarriage on men was less enduring when compared with that on women, a significant proportion of men demonstrated psychological distress after miscarriage. The significant positive correlation in a couple's psychological reaction indicated that psychological morbidity was not confined only to a woman's own experience, but also affected her relationship with her male partner.