UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The Childbirth Fear Questionnaire and the Wijma Delivery Expectancy Questionnaire as Screening Tools for Specific Phobia, Fear of Childbirth Fairbrother, Nichole; Albert, Arianne; Collardeau, Fanie; Keeney, Cora


Background: Perinatal anxiety and related disorders are common (20%), distressing and impairing. Fear of childbirth (FoB) is a common type of perinatal anxiety associated with negative mental health, obstetrical, childbirth and child outcomes. Screening can facilitate treatment access for those most in need. Objectives: The purpose of this research was to evaluate the accuracy of the Childbirth Fear Questionnaire (CFQ) and the Wijma Delivery Expectations Questionnaire (W-DEQ) of FoB as screening tools for a specific phobia, FoB. Methods: A total of 659 English-speaking pregnant women living in Canada and over the age of 18 were recruited for the study. Participants completed an online survey of demographic, current pregnancy and reproductive history information, as well as the CFQ and the W-DEQ, and a telephone interview to assess specific phobia FoB. Results: Symptoms meeting full and subclinical diagnostic criteria for a specific phobia, FoB, were reported by 3.3% and 7.1% of participants, respectively. The W-DEQ met or exceeded the criteria for a “good enough” screening tool across several analyses, whereas the CFQ only met these criteria in one analysis and came close in three others. Conclusions: The W-DEQ demonstrated high performance as a screening tool for a specific phobia, FoB, with accuracy superior to that of the CFQ. Additional research to ensure the stability of these findings is needed.

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