Development and validation of the Prenatal Diagnostic Procedures Anxiety Scale

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ObjectivesAs there are currently no specific measures of anxiety due to prenatal diagnostic procedures, the aim of the study was to develop and validate a new measure called the Prenatal Diagnostic Procedure Anxiety Scale (PDPAS).MethodsSeventy-four pregnant women scheduled for amniocentesis and ultrasound completed the PDPAS, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, and the Perceived Stress Scale before undergoing the diagnostic procedure. Reliability, concurrent validity, factor structure, scale sensitivity, and specificity were analyzed. Differences between amniocentesis and ultrasound groups in the PDPAS score were analyzed with a t-test.ResultsThe final scale comprised 11 items and two subscales measuring ‘fear of procedure’ and ‘fear of abnormal result’. Concurrent validity analysis showed that the PDPAS is an independent measure of anxiety. At a cut-off score of >11, sensitivity was 75.0% and specificity was 72.01% with moderate accuracy. Fear of procedure was higher in the amniocentesis group, whereas fear of abnormal result was equally present in both amniocentesis and ultrasound groups.ConclusionThe PDPAS has good internal consistency and concurrent validity with satisfactory psychometric characteristics. As a short measure of situation-specific anxiety, it can be used as a screening tool in prenatal clinical settings. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.What's already known about this topic?Stress related to prenatal procedures has two aspects: one that refers to procedure-induced stress, such as fear of pain during examination or fear of harming the fetus, and one that refers to fear of an abnormal result.Measures for general anxiety have been used to assess anxiety due to prenatal diagnostic procedures. To date, there are no situation-specific measures of anxiety.What does this study add?A prenatal diagnosis-related anxiety measure for examining distress due to prenatal procedures was developed. The measure was proven to be valid and distinguished between fear of procedure and fear of abnormal result.Whereas fear of procedure was higher among women undergoing amniocentesis, fear of abnormal result was equally present in both women undergoing amniocentesis and ultrasound.

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