A Systematic Review of Quality of Life Measures in Pregnant and Postpartum Mothers
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- Mogos, M.F., August, E.M., Salinas-Miranda, A.A. et al. Applied Research Quality Life (2013) 8: 219. doi:10.1007/s11482-012-9188-4
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Quality of life has emerged as an essential health component that broadens the traditionally narrow concerns focused on only morbidity and life expectancy. Although a growing number of tools to measure quality of life are in circulation, there is a lack of guidelines as well as rigorous assessment for their use with pregnant and postpartum populations. It is also unclear whether these instruments could validly be employed to measure patient-reported outcomes in comparative effectiveness research of maternal care interventions. This paper reviews articles cited in CINAHL, COCHRANE, EMBASE, PSYCINFO, and PUBMED that addressed quality of life in pregnant and postpartum populations. Instruments used to measure quality of life in selected articles were assessed for their adherence to international guidelines for health outcomes instrument development and validation. The authors identified 129 articles that addressed quality of life in pregnant and/or postpartum women. Out of these, only 64 quality (generic and specific) scales were judged relevant to be included in this study. Analysis of measurement scales used in the pregnant and/or postpartum populations revealed important validity, reliability and psychometric inadequacies that negate their use in comparative effectiveness analysis in pregnant and post-partum populations. Valid, reliable, and responsive instruments to measure patient-reported outcomes in pregnant and postpartum populations are lacking. To demonstrate the effectiveness of various treatment and prevention programs, future research to develop and validate a robust and responsive quality of life measurement scale in pregnant and postpartum populations is needed.