Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 997-1007

First online:

Development and Validation of a Scale Measuring Satisfaction with Maternal and Newborn Health Care Following Childbirth

  • Fabian T. CamachoAffiliated withDivision of Health Services Research, Penn State College of Medicine Email author 
  • , Carol S. WeismanAffiliated withDistinguished Professor of Public Health Sciences, & Obstetrics and Gynecology, Penn State College of Medicine
  • , Roger T. AndersonAffiliated withDivision of Health Services Research, Penn State College of Medicine
  • , Marianne M. HillemeierAffiliated withDivision of Health Services Research, Penn State College of Medicine
  • , Eric W. SchaeferAffiliated withDivision of Biostatistics Public Health Sciences, Penn State College of Medicine
  • , Ian M. PaulAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, Penn State College of Medicine

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To demonstrate the validity and internal consistency of a multi-item scale measuring women’s satisfaction with health care received in the weeks following childbirth for both themselves and their newborns. Data are from 1,154 women delivering healthy singletons or twins recruited for a randomized trial. Satisfaction with care items were selected from prior research, including the previously validated Primary Care Satisfaction Survey for Women (PCSSW) and studies of postpartum care. After randomly splitting the sample (1:1) for cross-validation purposes, Exploratory (EFA) and Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) on ordinal data using the WLSMV estimator available in the MPLUS statistical modeling program were conducted. A CFA was also conducted on available data at 2 weeks and 2 months after discharge in order to examine internal consistency at follow-up. A one factor model with 11 items was selected, with the main factor explaining 83% of total 11-item variation in the overall sample. The Cronbach’s alpha for the final 11-item scale at baseline and follow-up time periods was 0.96. High correlations with overall trust in provider (Spearman rho = 0.78) and quality of healthcare (0.75) supported convergent validity. The baseline mean score was 47.9 with a standard deviation of 7.13 and a possible range of 11 (low) to 55 (high satisfaction). This validated scale is a new tool for measuring satisfaction with health care received during the postpartum period for mothers and their newborns. This tool will be useful in studies assessing quality of care and the outcomes of postpartum health care interventions, and it is the first tool to focus on care for the mother-baby unit.


Satisfaction with maternal care Factor analysis Scale validation