The impact of anencephaly on parents: A mixed-methods study

Shandeigh N. Berry, Billie Severtsen, Andra Davis, Lonnie Nelson, Marianne H. Hutti, Gail Oneal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study used a convergent parallel mixed-method design to explore the impact of an anencephalic pregnancy on parents. Twenty women and four men between 18–59 years old participated. Interview transcripts were analyzed using interpretive phenomenology and synthesized with Perinatal Grief Intensity Scale scores using a Pearson’s correlation. Overall, 75% of parents scored intense grief. Qualitative patterns included overwhelming trauma, patient-centeredness as critical, stigmatizing perinatal loss, embracing personhood, and reframing reality. Control over care was associated with decreased grief (p =.019). Health care professionals are ideally positioned to reduce the risk of intense grief in parents experiencing an anencephalic pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2198-2207
Number of pages10
JournalDeath Studies
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology


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