The development of the Slade-Pais Expectations of Childbirth Scale (SPECS)

Slade, Pauline ORCID: 0000-0001-5877-2706, Pais, Tara, Fairlie, Fiona, Simpson, Adrian and Sheen, Kayleigh
(2016) The development of the Slade-Pais Expectations of Childbirth Scale (SPECS). JOURNAL OF REPRODUCTIVE AND INFANT PSYCHOLOGY, 34 (5). pp. 495-510.

[img] Text
SPECSproof24072016.pdf - Author Accepted Manuscript

Download (1MB)


Objective: To develop a valid and reliable English language-based scale to measure pregnant women’s expectations of childbirth. Background: During pregnancy, most women think about their forthcoming childbirth, and develop expectations of how they think this experience will be. Women with adverse expectations of childbirth have been found to have more negative actual experiences. Measuring expectations is therefore important. Existing measures are limited in their established psychometric properties. Methods: Items were generated from semi-structured interviews with 18 pregnant women to explore their expectations of their forthcoming childbirth. Content analysis was used to analyse interview data and scale items were developed using the constructs extracted. A population sample of 148 pregnant women completed the initial 85-item version of the Slade–Pais Expectations of Childbirth Scale (SPECS) and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. Results: Principal components analysis of the SPECS identified six underlying components labelled ‘coping and robustness to pain’, ‘staff and service responsive to needs’, ‘fear’, ‘out of control and embarrassed’, ‘perceptions of partner’s coping’ and ‘positive anticipation of birth’. Items with poor psychometric properties were excluded. A final 50-item version of the SPECS showed acceptable internal reliability and good content and construct validity. Conclusion: The SPECS shows promising psychometric robustness for use both as a research and clinical tool. It can be used as a total score, as a shortened scale focussed only on expectations of self, or as a series of subscales covering all domains.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Childbirth, expectations, fear, psychometrics, questionnaire development
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2016 10:03
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 07:30
DOI: 10.1080/02646838.2016.1209300
Related URLs: