Predicting grief intensity after recent perinatal loss

Marianne H. Hutti, John Myers, Lynne A. Hall, Barbara J. Polivka, Susan White, Janice Hill, Elizabeth Kloenne, Jaclyn Hayden, Meredith Mc Grew Grisanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective The Perinatal Grief Intensity Scale (PGIS) was developed for clinical use to identify and predict intense grief and need for follow-up after perinatal loss. This study evaluates the validity of the PGIS via its ability to predict future intense grief based on a PGIS score obtained early after a loss. Methods A prospective observational study was conducted with 103 international, English-speaking women recruited at hospital discharge or via the internet who experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death within the previous 8 weeks. Survey data were collected at baseline using the PGIS and the Perinatal Grief Scale (PGS). Follow-up data on the PGS were obtained 3 months later. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, Cronbach's alpha, receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis. Results Cronbach's alphas were ≥ 0.70 for both instruments. PGIS factor analysis yielded three factors as predicted, explaining 57.7% of the variance. The optimal cutoff identified for the PGIS was 3.535. No difference was found when the ability of the PGIS to identify intense grief was compared to the PGS (p = 0.754). The PGIS was not inferior to the PGS (AUC = 0.78, 95% CI 0.68–0.88, p < 0.001) in predicting intense grief at the follow-up. A PGIS score ≥ 3.53 at baseline was associated with increased grief intensity at Time 2 (PGS: OR = 1.97, 95% CI 1.59–2.34, p < 0.001). Conclusions The PGIS is comparable to the PGS, has a lower response burden, and can reliably and validly predict women who may experience future intense grief associated with perinatal loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-134
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the Kimberly-Clark Corporation through the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) and the Iota Zeta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. None of the organizations identified above were involved in the study design, the collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data, writing of the report, or submission of the article for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • Miscarriage
  • Neonatal death
  • Perinatal grief screening instrument
  • Stillbirth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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