Psychometric properties of the pregnancy-related anxiety scale–screener

Rachel Dryer, Robyn Brunton, Daniel He, Esther Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Pregnancy-related anxiety, a distinct anxiety characterized by pregnancy-specific concerns, has consistently been associated with adverse birth outcomes and obstetric and pediatric risk factors. Despite this, widespread screening for pregnancy-related anxiety has not been integrated into routine antenatal care likely due to the absence of a psychometrically sound screener. This study reports on the initial development of a brief screener derived from the 32-item pregnancy-related anxiety scale (PrAS). Three datasets (comprising pregnant women recruited online) were utilized in the development and evaluation of the PrAS screener (PrAS-Screener). Dataset one (N = 1,084) was used to derive two potential screeners from the PrAS using principal axis factoring (PAF). The factor structure of the models was evaluated using PAF and model fit assessed with confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) using datasets two (N = 638) and three (N = 581). The model comprised 15 items and five subscales was selected as the superior model. The selected model (i.e., PrAS-Screener) was evaluated for convergent and discriminant validity demonstrating higher correlations with similar measures and lower correlations with dissimilar measures and high internal consistency reliability (α = .93). The PrAS-Screener assesses the three core areas of pregnancy-related anxiety (childbirth, body image, baby concerns) but has the advantage of also assessing anxiety symptoms and medical staff concerns, an area integral to providing optimal antenatal care through trusted relationships with clinicians. Initial evidence indicates that the PrAS-Screener is promising as a brief and easy-to-administer screener suitable for use in routine antenatal care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-458
Number of pages16
JournalPsychological Assessment
Volume34
Issue number5
Early online date27 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

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