New Study Illustrates “Overwhelming” Need and Helpfulness of the Screening Tool While Refining Language

SAN DIEGO – The Institute of Reproductive Grief Care, the global leader in reproductive grief care, research and education, today announced the publication of a new communications study that further illuminated the value of the Institute’s Reproductive Grief Screening Tool.

The peer-reviewed scientific study was published in PEC Innovation, a publication of  under ScienceDirect, which is a premier platform of peer-reviewed scholarly literature by Elsevier. As a global leader in information and analytics, Elsevier helps researchers and healthcare professionals to advance science and improve health outcomes, striving to create a better future worldwide.

This is the second study on the Institute’s Reproductive Grief Screening Tool. The first study, published in April 2023 in the medical journal Cureus, validated the Screening Tool. This second study was a qualitative communications study that examines the language of the questions within the Screening Tool, to assure its value and validity while avoiding triggering language.

“This second published study continues to recognize the importance and value of the Institute’s Reproductive Grief Screening Tool,” said Dr. Michaelene Fredenburg, President and CEO of the Institute. “One day, hopefully soon, this Tool will be an integral part of patient care.”


Data from the study showed that women viewed the Tool as useful in a variety of health care settings, including ob-gyn offices, primary care clinics, and mental health contexts. Women overwhelmingly expressed the need for communication about a pregnancy loss and thought the screening tool could promote communication about grief with providers. One woman said, “It would maybe open the door for the patient to talk with the physician if the physician would be open to talking with that patient.”

The majority of women in the survey sample (72%) believed that it would be helpful for a health care provider to check in with them about how they are coping after a pregnancy loss, and several focus group participants called for a standard of care in managing reproductive loss.

Women indicated a variety of ways the Tool could be helpful, including validating the emotional pain trigged by loss. As one woman explained, “When I read it, it felt normalizing.” In addition, women thought the screening tool would be useful for tracking prolonged grief and adjustment over months, and even years, after the loss.


Research shows that up to 60% of bereaved parents experience depression, anxiety and PTSD after reproductive loss. The Reproductive Grief Screening Tool is designed to quickly identify these patients.

“Our Reproductive Grief Screening Tool is a critical part of recognizing, identifying and caring for patients who struggle emotionally after reproductive loss,” explained Fredenburg. “This Tool allows physicians and other healthcare professionals to quickly identify those struggling, so that they can take next steps to promote a healthy grieving trajectory.” 

The Screening Tool was patterned after the extensively validated “Brief Grief Questionnaire,” which was created to employ non-traumatic but specific language about grief.

  1. How much trouble are you having in accepting your loss?
  2. How much does your emotional response interfere with your life?
  3. How often are you having mental images of your loss?
  4. How often are you avoiding things that you used to do because of your loss?
  5. Since your loss, are you having difficulty in connecting with other people, including family and friends?

“We are thrilled to see this second study published,” added Fredenburg. “It provides the information we need to refine the questions within the Screening Tool, while demonstrating the reliability of the tool as it moves through the next research phases. In time, we look forward to healthcare professionals using this Screening Tool to bring hope and healing to those who grieve after reproductive loss.”


We bring to light the widespread need for help that is faced by the millions impacted by miscarriage and other reproductive losses. We change the way that people think and talk about reproductive loss, and create traditions that focus on healing, remembrance and hope. We offer a safe place, for those impacted, to receive the support that they need in kindness and without judgement.


The Institute of Reproductive Grief Care is the global authority on reproductive grief care. It offers education, research, expertise and support after reproductive loss without religious or political affiliation. Its goal is to accelerate the widespread adoption of a reproductive grief standard of care, bringing comfort and hope to millions who often grieve alone and in silence for years or decades.

The Institute’s online courses are accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. The Institute of Reproductive Grief Care is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #17434. It is also approved by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs. We maintain responsibility for our program and its content. The Institute also certifies healthcare professionals and others in reproductive grief care.

The Institute offers booksmemorial items, and other healing resources directly to those affected, including the “Forget Me Not Signature Collection” of sympathy cards, jewelry and comfort boxes. The national campaign, promoting the “Forget Me Not” flower as a symbol of reproductive loss remembrance, won the grand prize of “Nonprofit Communications Campaign of the Year” by Public Relations Daily in 2022. All Institute proceeds from sales of “Forget Me Not” items go directly to helping those impacted. The Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For more information, see the Institute’s introductory video and visit ReproductiveGrief.org.