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Measuring women's experiences of childbirth using the Birth Satisfaction Scale-Revised (BSS-R)

02 May 2020
Volume 28 · Issue 5


Birth satisfaction relates to women's perceptions of their childbirth experience, with importance placed on the midwife to improve standards of the intranatal care provided. With evaluating intranatal care in mind, this paper aims to educate midwives about one particular method of measuring women's experiences of labour, which involves using the valid and reliable Birth Satisfaction Scale-Revised (BSS-R). The BSS-R is a 10-item self-report valid and reliable measure, which is recommended by the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) as the ‘method of choice’ for evaluating women's ‘birth experience’. Since the ICHOM began recommending the BSS-R as part of its pregnancy and childbirth standard set, the scale (at time of print) has been used in 39 countries and 134 sites around the world.

The 10-item Birth Satisfaction Scale-Revised (BSS-R) is a multi-factorial psychometrically robust tool developed for the purpose of measuring women's experiences of labour and childbirth (Hollins Martin and Martin, 2014). The BSS-R is currently recommended by the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) as the lead international clinical tool for measuring women's experiences of labour and childbirth (Nijagal et al, 2018). Since the ICHOM began recommending the BSS-R, it has been used to measure women's ‘birth satisfaction’ in 39 countries and 134 sites worldwide (at the time of print).

The BSS-R is co-owned by Caroline J Hollins Martin (CJHM) and Colin R Martin (CRM) who are both available to provide advice regarding its use. Country specific BSS-R scales are held in an electronic site based at Edinburgh Napier University (ENU), with the ICHOM directing potential users to CJHM who monitors and maintains the site.

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