Publication Date


Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Susan Murphy


Objective: To measure the effectiveness of a perinatal loss workshop on death anxiety of nursing students. Design: Simple, pretest-posttest. Setting: A classroom at a State University in California. Participants: 20 junior students in a baccalaureate nursing program in a maternal-child rotation. Intervention: A 60-minute perinatal loss workshop including Worden's tasks of mourning, therapeutic and non-therapeutic nursing interventions, photographs, poetry, and coping skills . Main Outcome Measure: Anxiety towards perinatal death was measured by Speilberger's State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI Form Y-1). Data were also gathered with a demographic questionnaire and a posttest. Results: The mean score on the PREST AI was 52.3 and the mean score on the POSTSTAI was 44.8. Post workshop scores decreased by 7.5 points indicating a decrease in anxiety. When asked, "If you had the chance to choose your assignment in labor and delivery how likely would you choose the woman with the intrapartum death?" the mean score changed from 2.6 before the workshop to 3.3 after the workshop (p < .05). Conclusions: Students that participated in an educational program on perinatal loss reported a decrease in anxiety level towards death. Future studies should include a control group to compare educational interventions to the current curriculum in nursing programs.