Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Chaplain, Coping, Healthcare, Miscarriage, Perinatal Loss, Pregnancy Grief, Spiritual Care Provider, Spirituality
Helm, Dani M., "A Grief Intervention for Early Perinatal Loss" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4373.
Early pregnancy loss has a multidimensional effect on patients, touching the body, soul, and spirit. This project addresses patients’ lack of spiritual and emotional support following early pregnancy loss, commonly called a miscarriage. The available research on the emotional impact of early pregnancy loss has grown stronger over the last three decades. However, there is a deficit of research exploring the spiritual implications of miscarriage and how faith is used as a coping mechanism for pregnancy grief. In modern culture, the term spirituality can mean many different things. With this awareness, Mercy Healthcare embraces and supports patients wherever they find themselves spiritually. As a faith-based institution, Mercy acknowledges the importance of spirituality and personal faith in the healing process. When supporting early pregnancy loss at Mercy Springfield, the Pastoral Services department has a definitive standard of care. Nevertheless, a lack of vital ongoing support is unavailable for patients who desire additional assistance in their grief. This study creates an intervention to support the grief of early pregnancy loss patients through an eight-week phenomenological review considering individual life and faith stories. This project, led by a professionally trained chaplain, applied both qualifiable and quantifiable research techniques using patient and stakeholder surveys and the project leader’s observational data. It investigates whether further understanding one’s life stories and faith experiences can promote quality patient care in their grieving process. The project will also provide additional resources to promote awareness and support of the spiritual aspects of miscarriage grief. In addition, this study will serve as a guide to further evaluate quality patient care offered by Pastoral Services at Mercy Springfield.