Background: childbirth is a crucial experience in women’s life as it has a substantial psychological, emotional and physical impact. A childbirth positive experience is important to the woman, infant’s health and well-being, and mother–infant relationship. Furthermore, it is useful for the care providers to guarantee the best preparation, health service and support to childbearing women. The Childbirth Perception Questionnaire (CPQ) is a 27-item instrument designed to assess women’s perception of their childbirth experience. Objectives: to provide a first attempt to adapt the Childbirth Perception Questionnaire (CPQ) using a sample of Italian women. The psychometric properties of the scale and the quality of women’s childbirth experience perception were assessed. Furthermore, the potential relation between the childbirth perception and the pain perception was explored. Design: two separate studies were conducted. In Study 1, the factor structure and the reliability of the Italian translation of CPQ were assessed. Also a quantitative analysis of respondents’ mean ratings was conducted. In Study 2 the relation between the CPQ and the Italian Pain Questionnaire (IPQ) was examined. Setting: an inpatient gynaecologic–obstetric unit in a university medical centre in Italy. Participants: 195 women in Study 1 and 92 women in Study 2 completed the questionnaires. Methods: in Study 1 the translated form of CPQ was administered in the 24–48 hours post partum. In Study 2, the participants completed the Italian version of the CPQ and the Italian Pain Questionnaire (IPQ) in the same postpartum time frame. Socio-demographic details and information about women’s obstetric history were collected in both Study 1 and Study 2. Findings: an exploratory factor analysis revealed a 24-item scale with a three-factor structure. The Italian version of the questionnaire was labelled Childbirth Experience Perception Scale (CEPS) and composed of three subscales: Labour and Delivery Perception, Control Perception and Change Perception. The questionnaire presented satisfactory internal consistency’s indexes both in Study 1 (a coefficients range: .66–.83) and in Study 2 (a coefficients range: .70–.86). The analysis of women’s mean scores on CEPS revealed a significant effect of age, social economic status, amniocentesis test, type of childbirth, childbirth preference, and disagreement between actual and preferred childbirth (po.05). A significant correlation between the CEPS and IPQ scales was found (po.05). Conclusion: the current research evidenced that the Italian first adaptation of the CPQ, the Childbirth Experience Perception Scale, may be a valid and reliable measure of childbirth experience perception for use in different women’s health clinical outcome and studies.

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Department of Psychology

Bertucci, F, Boffo, M., Mannarini, S., Serena, A., Saccardi, C., Cosmi, E., … Ambrosini, G. (2012). Assessing the perception of the childbirth experience in Italian women: A first contribution to the adaptation of the childbirth perception questionnaire. Midwifery, 28(2). doi:10.1016/j.midw.2011.02.009