Project

The initial development of the Pregnancy-related Anxiety Scale

Goal: To develop a scale to screen for Pregnancy-related Anxiety. From an initial item pool (n=108) we developed a multidimensional scale (nine factors: childbirth, appearance, attitudes towards childbirth, motherhood, acceptance, anxiety, medical, avoidance, and baby concerns) with good internal consistent reliability (majority of sub scales exceeding α=.80). This paper is currently under review for publication.

Methods: Confirmatory Factor Analysis, Principal Component Analysis, expert review panel

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Project log

Oleg N. Medvedev
added a research item
Objectives Accurate evaluation of mindfulness-based training requires understanding of the differences between state and trait changes, and the Generalizability Theory (G-Theory) is the most appropriate method to differentiate these aspects in a measure. The Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) is widely used measure of dispositional mindfulness, but its ability to accurately capture stable aspects of mindfulness has not been rigorously investigated using appropriate methodology. Method G-Theory was applied to differentiate between trait and state aspects of mindfulness and to examine temporal reliability of the FFMQ in a sample of 83 participants who completed the scale at three occasions separated by 2-week intervals. Results The total 39-item FFMQ and its short version FFMQ-18 have demonstrated good reliability in measuring trait mindfulness with G coefficients of 0.89 and 0.75, respectively, while individual facet subscales of the FFMQ appeared less reliable in measuring either trait or state. Subsequent analysis attempted to combine the FFMQ items that were least stable over time into a state mindfulness subscale. However, this did not result in acceptable psychometric properties for such a state subscale. Conclusions The findings of this study indicate that reliable measurement of stable aspects of mindfulness can be achieved by using the full FFMQ scale or its short version FFMQ-18 with scores generalizable across sample population and occasions. The scores obtained on individual facet subscales of the FFMQ predominantly measuring trait mindfulness, but their reliability is affected by measurement error due to interaction between person, item, and occasion.
Robyn Joy Brunton
added 2 research items
Problem/background: Pregnancy-related anxiety is a distinct anxiety characterised by pregnancy-specific concerns. This anxiety is consistently associated with adverse birth outcomes, and obstetric and paediatric risk factors, associations generally not seen with other anxieties. The need exists for a psychometrically sound scale for this anxiety type. This study, therefore, reports on the initial development of the Pregnancy-related Anxiety Scale. Methods: The item pool was developed following a literature review and the formulation of a definition for pregnancy-related anxiety. An Expert Review Panel reviewed the definition, item pool and test specifications. Pregnant women were recruited online (N=671). Results: Using a subsample (N=262, M=27.94, SD=4.99), fourteen factors were extracted using Principal Components Analysis accounting for 63.18% of the variance. Further refinement resulted in 11 distinct factors. Confirmatory Factor Analysis further tested the model with a second subsample (N=369, M=26.59, SD=4.76). After additional refinement, the resulting model was a good fit with nine factors (childbirth, appearance, attitudes towards childbirth, motherhood, acceptance, anxiety, medical, avoidance, and baby concerns). Internal consistency reliability was good with the majority of subscales exceeding α=.80. Conclusions: The Pregnancy-related Anxiety Scale is easy to administer with higher scores indicative of greater pregnancy-related anxiety. The inclusion of reverse-scored items is a potential limitation with poorer reliability evident for these factors. Although still in its development stage, the Pregnancy-related Anxiety Scale will eventually be useful both clinically (affording early intervention) and in research settings.
Background: Recognition of pregnancy-related anxiety as a distinct anxiety is supported by evidence differentiating it from general anxiety and depression. Adverse associations with pregnancy-related anxiety further support this distinction. An influential study by Huizink et al. (2004), demonstrated that anxiety and depression contribute little to the variance of pregnancy-related anxiety, yet this study has not been replicated. Further, addressing limitations of the original study will provide further clarity to the findings. Methods: Participants (N=1209), were recruited online and completed three scales: pregnancy-related anxiety, general anxiety and depression. Multiple regression assessed the unique contribution of general anxiety and depression (predictors) to pregnancy-related anxiety scores (criterion) for each trimester. Results: Across pregnancy, general anxiety and depression explained only 2-23% of the variance in the pregnancy-related anxiety scores. Anxiety and depression showed small unique contributions for some trimesters and specific areas of concern, ranging from 2 to 11%. Comparisons to the original Huizink study showed most results were comparable. Conclusions: The methodology and more detailed analyses employed addressed noted limitations of the Huizink study. Findings that the contribution of general anxiety and depression to the variance in pregnancy-related anxiety scores was low, supports previous conclusions that pregnancy-related anxiety is a discrete anxiety type. Recognition of this unique anxiety (associated with many deleterious outcomes) may provide opportunity for prenatal screening/early intervention, potentially resulting in improved pregnancy outcomes. Limitations include no exclusion of women deemed as high-risk pregnancy and the pregnancy-related anxiety scale limited in its ability to fully assess this anxiety type.
Robyn Joy Brunton
added a project goal
To develop a scale to screen for Pregnancy-related Anxiety. From an initial item pool (n=108) we developed a multidimensional scale (nine factors: childbirth, appearance, attitudes towards childbirth, motherhood, acceptance, anxiety, medical, avoidance, and baby concerns) with good internal consistent reliability (majority of sub scales exceeding α=.80). This paper is currently under review for publication.