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J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2012 Mar;33(1):15-24. doi: 10.3109/0167482X.2011.652996.

Perceived control and maternal satisfaction with childbirth: a measure development study.

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Rush University Medical Center, Behavioral Sciences, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


The purpose of this study was to develop and validate two instruments: one to assess patient perceptions of control of the childbirth environment and the other, global satisfaction with the childbirth experience. Participants were 187 women recruited from obstetric clinics, breast-feeding support groups and online who had given birth in the past 4 months. Scale development involved item construction, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) of the Perceived Control in Childbirth Scale (PCCh), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the Satisfaction with Childbirth Scale (SWCh), reliability analysis and construct validity analyses. EFA identified a single factor underlying a set of items reflecting the patient's belief that her actions influenced the birth environment (i.e. perceived control). CFAs supported a single-factor model reflecting the degree to which the birth experience met the patient's ideal (i.e. satisfaction). Perceived control was associated with childbirth self-efficacy. Childbirth satisfaction was associated with both affective reactions to birth and childbirth-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Results support the validity and reliability of two new scales that assess perceived control of the birth environment and global satisfaction with childbirth.

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