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A review of instruments to measure health-related quality of life and well-being among pregnant women

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Debbie Carrick-Sen


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Objective: To describe a rapid review of major health-related, electronic bibliographic databases, to identify pregnancy-specific measures of health-related quality of life and well-being. This paper details the range of available instruments, rather than aiming to critique their psychometric properties or indicate problem prevalence. Background: While many instruments are used to measure health and well-being in pregnant women, most are primarily designed for use with a generic population to quantify the presence and magnitude of problems. Few instruments are designed to measure well-being specifically with pregnant women. Methods: A comprehensive search was undertaken to retrieve studies reporting the use of pregnancy-specific instruments to measure health-related quality of life or well-being. The search was conducted on Medline, Cochrane Library and Social Sciences Citation Indexes. Results: 1938 papers were identified and checked for inclusion at title and abstract stage. Eighty-four full papers were obtained for review against inclusion criteria. Thirty-nine papers were selected for inclusion, covering 30 instruments available for use solely with pregnant women. Most of the studies were conducted in Scandinavia or the USA, involved low-risk women, were of cross-sectional design or longitudinal design with data collected across more than one trimester. Conclusion: Most instruments identified in this review were developed for use in non-pregnancy contexts. Those specifically designed for use during pregnancy were infrequently used, apart from the Wijma Delivery Expectancy Questionnaire and the Cambridge Worry Scale. We found limited activity in assessing and measuring the health and well-being of pregnant women to capture positive psychological pregnancy outcomes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Morrell CJ, Cantrell A, Evans K, Carrick-Sen DM

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology

Year: 2013

Volume: 31

Issue: 5

Pages: 512-530

Online publication date: 08/11/2013

Acceptance date: 14/08/2013

ISSN (print): 0264-6838

ISSN (electronic): 1469-672X



DOI: 10.1080/02646838.2013.835795