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The birth satisfaction scale (BSS).

Hollins Martin, Caroline J; Fleming, Valerie


Valerie Fleming


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to develop a psychometric scale - the birth satisfaction scale (BSS) - for assessing women's birth perceptions. Design/methodology/approach - literature review and transcribed research-based perceived birth satisfaction and dissatisfaction expression statements were converted into a scored questionnaire. Findings - three overarching themes were identified: service provision (home assessment, birth environment, support, relationships with health care professionals); personal attributes (ability to cope during labour, feeling in control, childbirth preparation, relationship with baby); and stress experienced during labour (distress, obstetric injuries, receiving sufficient medical care, obstetric intervention, pain, long labour and baby's health). Research limitations/implications - women construct their birth experience differently. Views are directed by personal beliefs, reactions, emotions and reflections, which alter in relation to mood, humour, disposition, frame of mind and company kept. Nevertheless, healthcare professionals can use BSS to assess women's birth satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Scores measure their service quality experiences. Social implications - scores provide a global measure of care that women perceived they received during labour. Originality/value - finding out more about what causes birth satisfaction and dissatisfaction helps maternity care professionals improve intra-natal care standards and allocate resources effectively. An attempt has been made to capture birth satisfaction's generalised meaning and incorporate it into an evidence-based measuring tool.


Hollins Martin, C. J., & Fleming, V. (2009). The birth satisfaction scale (BSS). International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 24, 124-135.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 21, 2009
Deposit Date Aug 19, 2015
Publicly Available Date Aug 19, 2015
Print ISSN 0952-6862
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Pages 124-135
Keywords Childbirth; women; patient care; midwifery; auditing; United Kingdom;
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