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The validation of the brief COPE in a Belgian perinatal population

van Gils, Yannic; Bleijenbergh, Roxanne; Brosens, Charlotte; Van den Branden, Laura; Rimaux, Sophie; Kuipers, Yvonne J.


Yannic van Gils

Roxanne Bleijenbergh

Charlotte Brosens

Laura Van den Branden

Sophie Rimaux


Introduction: The Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced (Brief-COPE) measures individuals’ coping strategies. There is limited evidence on the psychometric properties of this measure in a perinatal population. The aim of this study is to explore the psychometric properties of the Brief COPE in pregnant and postpartum women.

Methods: The Dutch/Flemish version of the Brief-COPE was administrated in a sample of 754 antenatal (n=432) and postpartum (n=322) women living in Belgium. Exploratory factor analyses assessed the factor structure of the Brief-COPE and its convergent validity in an antenatal and postpartum sample. Cronbach’s alpha was calculated for internal consistency reliability of the Brief-COPE items.

Results: Exploratory factor analysis showed a five-factor antenatal model, presented by the subscales: (1) Active coping (α=0.86), (2) Self-blame and Disengagement (α=0.70), (3) Alcohol use (α=0.96), (4) Humour (α=0.79), and (5) Spirituality (α=0.81). For the postpartum sample, a three-factor model emerged, presented by the subscales: (1) Active coping (α=0.85), (2) Self-blame (α=0.85) and (3) Spirituality (α=0.74).

Conclusions: We observed differences and similarities in coping strategies between antenatal and postpartum women – information to be of merit for clinical practice and research. The Brief-COPE is a promising tool for the use of identifying women’s coping strategies during pregnancy and the postpartum period, specifically for women in a similar cultural context as the women in this study, mainly in terms of antenatal alcohol use.


van Gils, Y., Bleijenbergh, R., Brosens, C., Van den Branden, L., Rimaux, S., & Kuipers, Y. J. (2022). The validation of the brief COPE in a Belgian perinatal population. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 26, 2050-2059.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 17, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 8, 2022
Publication Date 2022-10
Deposit Date Aug 8, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 9, 2023
Journal Maternal and Child Health Journal
Print ISSN 1092-7875
Electronic ISSN 1573-6628
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Pages 2050-2059
Keywords Antenatal, Coping, Factor analysis, Perinatal, Postpartum
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