Practitioner perspectives on the use of selected Fear of Childbirth screening tools within a clinical context

Marshall, Claire, A., Jones, Catriona, Burt, Kate, Lappin, Victoria, Martin, Colin, Jomeen, Julie and Webb, Abigail (2023) Practitioner perspectives on the use of selected Fear of Childbirth screening tools within a clinical context. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology. ISSN 0264-6838

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Fear of childbirth (FOC), or tokophobia, can influence several medical and obstetric variables, and is a significant predictor of maternal and mental health outcomes and birth experiences. Current practice in the UK does not include initial screening for tokophobia, rather, assessment and support occur under extreme circumstances e.g., maternal requests for caesarean sections or pregnancy termination requests in order to avoid childbirth. Moreover, while there are several candidate outcome measures for FOC, none have been evaluated in terms of their perceived suitability by specialist practitioners within perinatal healthcare pathways. The present study explores the perceived barriers and facilitators reported by health professionals working within the maternity and mental health services for the use of FOC candidate outcome measures. Evaluated measures included the Fear of Birth Scale, the Oxford Worries about Labour Scale, The Wijma Delivery Expectancy Scale, the Slade-Pais Expectations of Childbirth Scale the Tokophobia Severity Scale. The Tokophobia Severity Scale, followed by the Slade-Pais Expectations of Childbirth Scales were the most favourable scales selected for use according to clinicians. The identification of preferred scales and how they can be used in the local maternity system is a step towards the application of these consistently in clinical practice, to aid in the identification and assessment of FOC. The use of the correct tool at each stage of contact with the local maternity system will improve clinician confidence in the identification of FOC and facilitate the efficient implementation of treatment and support through the development of pathways of care.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: tokophobia, fear of childbirth, perinatal mental health, birth trauma, postnatal PTSD, birth experience
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Other Departments (Central units) > Research & Enterprise
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2023 09:57
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2023 09:07

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