Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Quality of prenatal care questionnaire: instrument development and testing

Maureen I Heaman1*, Wendy A Sword2, Noori Akhtar-Danesh2, Amanda Bradford3, Suzanne Tough4, Patricia A Janssen5, David C Young6, Dawn A Kingston7, Eileen K Hutton8 and Michael E Helewa9

Author Affiliations

1 College of Nursing and Departments of Community Health Sciences and Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, 89 Curry Place, Winnipeg R3T 2N2, Manitoba, Canada

2 School of Nursing and Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton L8S 4K1, Ontario, Canada

3 Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton L8S 4M4, Ontario, Canada

4 Departments of Paediatrics and Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary T3B 6A8, Alberta, Canada

5 School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, 2206 East Mall, Vancouver V6N 1Z3, British Columbia, Canada

6 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, IWK Health Centre, Dalhousie University, 5980 University Avenue, P.O. Box 9700, Halifax B3K 6R8, Nova Scotia, Canada

7 Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, 5-258 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, 11405-87th Avenue, Edmonton T6G 1C9, Alberta, Canada

8 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton L8S 4K, Ontario, Canada

9 Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, 735 Notre Dame Avenue, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg R3T 2N2, Manitoba, Canada

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2014, 14:188  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-188

Published: 3 June 2014

Abstract

Background

Utilization indices exist to measure quantity of prenatal care, but currently there is no published instrument to assess quality of prenatal care. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a new instrument, the Quality of Prenatal Care Questionnaire (QPCQ).

Methods

Data for this instrument development study were collected in five Canadian cities. Items for the QPCQ were generated through interviews with 40 pregnant women and 40 health care providers and a review of prenatal care guidelines, followed by assessment of content validity and rating of importance of items. The preliminary 100-item QPCQ was administered to 422 postpartum women to conduct item reduction using exploratory factor analysis. The final 46-item version of the QPCQ was then administered to another 422 postpartum women to establish its construct validity, and internal consistency and test-retest reliability.

Results

Exploratory factor analysis reduced the QPCQ to 46 items, factored into 6 subscales, which subsequently were validated by confirmatory factor analysis. Construct validity was also demonstrated using a hypothesis testing approach; there was a significant positive association between women’s ratings of the quality of prenatal care and their satisfaction with care (r = 0.81). Convergent validity was demonstrated by a significant positive correlation (r = 0.63) between the “Support and Respect” subscale of the QPCQ and the “Respectfulness/Emotional Support” subscale of the Prenatal Interpersonal Processes of Care instrument. The overall QPCQ had acceptable internal consistency reliability (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.96), as did each of the subscales. The test-retest reliability result (Intra-class correlation coefficient = 0.88) indicated stability of the instrument on repeat administration approximately one week later. Temporal stability testing confirmed that women’s ratings of their quality of prenatal care did not change as a result of giving birth or between the early postpartum period and 4 to 6 weeks postpartum.

Conclusion

The QPCQ is a valid and reliable instrument that will be useful in future research as an outcome measure to compare quality of care across geographic regions, populations, and service delivery models, and to assess the relationship between quality of care and maternal and infant health outcomes.

Keywords:
Prenatal care; Quality of care; Measurement; Instrument; Reliability; Validity; Psychometric testing