Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 133–140

A Screening Questionnaire for mother-infant bonding disorders

  • I. F. Brockington
  • J. Oates
  • S. George
  • D. Turner
  • P. Vostanis
  • M. Sullivan
  • C. Loh
  • C. Murdoch
Original contribution

DOI: 10.1007/s007370170010

Cite this article as:
Brockington, I., Oates, J., George, S. et al. Arch Womens Ment Health (2001) 3: 133. doi:10.1007/s007370170010

Summary

Background: There is a need in primary care for an easily administered instrument to give early indications of disorders in mother-infant relationships.

Methods: An 84 item questionnaire was administered to 104 subjects, including normal mothers, depressed mothers with a normal mother-infant relationship and mothers with bonding disorders. A principle component analysis was used to select items for scale construction. Scale scores were compared with interview data. Reliability, sensitivity and specificity of the scales were measured.

Findings: 4 factors of clinical relevance were obtained and used to construct 4 scales. The questionnaire was reduced to 25 questions. Scale 1 (impaired bonding) had a sensitivity of 0.93 in detecting mothers with bonding disorder. Scale 2 (rejection and anger) specifically identified mothers with severe disorders. Scale 3 may be useful in anxious mothers. Scale 4 signalled the presence of incipient abuse, requiring urgent intervention.

Interpretation: This questionnaire can be used, with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, by midwives and health visitors, for the early diagnosis of mother-infant bonding disorders.

Keywords: Bonding disorders; postpartum depression; Self Rating Questionnaires; child abuse.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. F. Brockington
    • 1
  • J. Oates
    • 2
  • S. George
    • 3
  • D. Turner
    • 4
  • P. Vostanis
    • 5
  • M. Sullivan
    • 1
  • C. Loh
    • 1
  • C. Murdoch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, University of Birmingham U.K.GB
  2. 2.School of Education, The Open University, Milton Keynes, U.K.GB
  3. 3.Bridge House, Birmingham, U.K.GB
  4. 4.South Birmingham Psychology Service, Birmingham, U.K.GB
  5. 5.Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Westcotes House, Leicester, U.K.GB