The Effectiveness of Healing Interventions for Post-Abortion Grief: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

  • Leila BAGHERI Department of Reproductve Health, Student Research Committee, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran
  • Ali Mohammad NAZARI Department of Reproductve Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran
  • Reza CHAMAN Department of Epidemiology, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
  • Ashraf GHIASI Department of Reproductve Health, Student Research Committee, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran
  • Zahra MOTAGHI Mail Reproductive Studies and Women’s Health Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahroud University of Medical Scienc-es, Shahroud, Iran
Clinical trial, Psychological intervention, Post-abortion grief


Background: Abortion is the ending of pregnancy due to removing an embryo or fetus before it can survive outside the uterus. Some women suffer from psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression and grief after abortion. Early detection of high-risk women after abortion and psychological intervention is one of the healing methods than can lead to improving outcomes but its effectiveness is not clear. The present meta-analysis evaluated the efficacy of this approach.

Methods: The international and national electronic databases were searched from Jan 1998 until Aug 2018 including Medline, Web of Knowledge, Ovid, Embase, PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane, ScienceDirect, PsycINFO, ProQuest, Google Scholar, Iranmedex, Scientific Information Database (SID), and Magiran. The pooled mean difference with the random-effects model was used for meta-analyses. The preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses guidelines adhered in this study.

Results: We enrolled 7 relevant studies involving 918 subjects into the meta-analysis process. The meta-analysis of the interventions aiming at prevention of post-abortion grief yielded a pooled standardized mean difference (SMD) of −0.03 (95% CI: −0.40−0.34; Z=0.16; P=0.87) at post-test and of -0.21 (95% CI:-0.53-0.10; Z=1.32; P=0.19) at follow-up.

Conclusion: This systematic review found psychotherapy-based interventions are effective in post-abortion grief treatment but; we found psychotherapy-based interventions are somewhat effective in short-term post-abortion grief and it has a better effect on long-term grief.


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How to Cite
BAGHERI L, NAZARI AM, CHAMAN R, GHIASI A, MOTAGHI Z. The Effectiveness of Healing Interventions for Post-Abortion Grief: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Iran J Public Health. 49(3):426-436.
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