A validation of the Postpartum Specific Anxiety Scale 12-item research short-form for use during global crises with five translations.


Silverio SA(1)(2)(3), Davies SM(4)(5)(6), Christiansen P(4), Aparicio-García ME(7), Bramante A(8), Chen P(9), Costas-Ramón N(7), de Weerth C(10), Della Vedova AM(11), Infante Gil L(12), Lustermans H(10), Wendland J(12), Xu J(13), Halford JCG(4)(14), Harrold JA(4), Fallon V(4).
Author information:
(1)Department of Women & Children's Health, School of Life Course Sciences, King's College London, London, UK. [Email]
(2)Department of Psychology, Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK. [Email]
(3)Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women's Health, Faculty of Population Health Sciences, University College London, London, UK. [Email]
(4)Department of Psychology, Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.
(5)School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.
(6)Division of Psychology and Mental Health, School of Health Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
(7)Departamento de Psicología Social, Psicología del Trabajo y Psicología Diferencial, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
(8)Humanitas San Pio X, Milan, Italy.
(9)Collaborative Innovation Center of Assessment for Basic Education Quality, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China.
(10)Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
(11)Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Sperimentali, Università degli Studi di Brescia, Brescia, Italy.
(12)Laboratoire Psychopathologie et Processus de Santé, Institut de Psychologie, Université de Paris, Paris, France.
(13)National Research Institute for Family Planning, Beijing, China.
(14)School of Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.


BACKGROUND: Global crises inevitably increase levels of anxiety in postpartum populations. Effective and efficient measurement is therefore essential. This study aimed to create a 12-item research short form of the 51-item Postpartum Specific Anxiety Scale [PSAS] and validate it for use in rapid response research at a time of global crises [PSAS-RSF-C]. We also present the same 12-items, in five other languages (Italian, French, Chinese, Spanish, Dutch) to increase global accessibility of a psychometric tool to assess maternal mental health. METHODS: Twelve items from the PSAS were selected on the basis of a review of their factor loadings. An on-line sample of UK mothers (N = 710) of infants up to 12 weeks old completed the PSAS-RSF-C during COVID-19 'lockdown'. RESULTS: Principal component analyses on a randomly split sample (n = 344) revealed four factors, identical in nature to the original PSAS, which in combination explained 75% of the total variance. Confirmatory factor analyses (n = 366) demonstrated the four-factor model fit the data well. Reliability of the overall scale and of the underlying factors in both samples proved excellent. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest the PSAS-RSF-C may prove useful as a clinical screening tool and is the first postpartum-specific psychometric scale to be validated during the COVID-19 pandemic. This offers psychometrically sound assessment of postpartum anxiety. By increasing the accessibility of the PSAS, we aim to enable researchers the opportunity to measure maternal anxiety, rapidly, at times of global crisis.