Religious coping strategies as a way to cope with stillbirth


  • N. Goutaudier
  • N. Séjourné
  • A. Boudoukha
  • H. Chabrol


Background: While research on religious beliefs as an adjustment is on the rise, less is known regarding such process following stillbirth. The aim of the present study is to a) identifying a typology of Moroccan women who experienced stillbirth based on several dimension of religious coping strategies and b) examining whether these profile differ on grief, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and posttraumatic growth (PTG) symptoms. Methods: One hundred Moroccan women who experienced stillbirth participated to a cross-sectional study. At 6weeks following stillbirth, they completed questionnaires assessing Religious Coping Strategies (RCS), PTSD, PTG, anxiety and grief symptoms. Cluster analysis was used to identify groups of participants based on RCS scores and groups were compared by their mean scores on psychopathological scales through ANOVAs. Findings : Five clusters were identified : one with high level of plead and religious avoidance coping strategies, one with high level of interpersonal coping strategies, one with multiple religious coping strategies, one with discontent religious coping strategies and one with low religious coping. High levels of psychological symptoms were found in the 5 clusters and PTG symptomatology was associated with increased RCS. Discussion: Our findings suggest that, while religious coping strategy do not protect from short-term psychopathological symptoms following stillbirth, they play an important role in the development of positive reactions. As PTG symptoms have been reported be a protective factor for long term symptomatology, further longitudinal studies focusing in this area is warranted.





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