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Qual Health Care. 2001 Mar;10(1):17-22.

Development of a multidimensional labour satisfaction questionnaire: dimensions, validity, and internal reliability.

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East Somerset Research Consortium, Westlake Surgery, High Street, West Coker, Somerset BA22 9AH, UK.



No published quantitative instrument exists to measure maternal satisfaction with the quality of different models of labour care in the UK.


A quantitative psychometric multidimensional maternal satisfaction questionnaire, the Women's Views of Birth Labour Satisfaction Questionnaire (WOMBLSQ), was developed using principal components analysis with varimax rotation of successive versions. Internal reliability and content and construct validity were assessed.


Of 300 women sent the first version (WOMBLSQ1), 120 (40%) replied; of 300 sent WOMBLSQ2, 188 (62.7%) replied; of 500 women sent WOMBLSQ3, 319 (63.8%) replied; and of 2400 women sent WOMBLSQ4, 1683 (70.1%) replied. The latter two versions consisted of 10 dimensions in addition to general satisfaction. These were (Cronbach's alpha): professional support in labour (0.91), expectations of labour (0.90), home assessment in early labour (0.90), holding the baby (0.87), support from husband/partner (0.83), pain relief in labour (0.83), pain relief immediately after labour (0.65), knowing labour carers (0.82), labour environment (0.80), and control in labour (0.62). There were moderate correlations (range 0.16-0.73) between individual dimensions and the general satisfaction scale (0.75). Scores on individual dimensions were significantly related to a range of clinical and demographic variables.


This multidimensional labour satisfaction instrument has good validity and internal reliability. It could be used to assess care in labour across different models of maternity care, or as a prelude to in depth exploration of specific areas of concern. Its external reliability and transferability to care outside the South West region needs further evaluation, particularly in terms of ethnicity and social class.

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