Measuring women’s experiences of maternity care: protocol for a systematic review of self-report survey instruments

Claire Beecher, Richard Richard , Laura O’Dwyer, Ethel Ryan, Mark White, Michelle Beattie, Declan Devane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The use of survey instruments to measure women's experiences of their maternity care is regarded internationally as an indicator of the quality of care received. To ensure the credibility of the data arising from these instruments, the methodological quality of development must be high. This paper reports the protocol for a systematic review of self-report instruments used to measure women's experiences of their maternity care.

METHODS: Citation databases CINAHL, Ovid MEDLINE and EMBASE will be searched from 2002 to 2018 using keywords including women, experience, maternity care, questionnaires, surveys, and self-report. Citations will be screened by two reviewers, in two rounds, for inclusion as per predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Data extraction forms will be populated with data, extracted from each study, to evaluate the methodological quality of each survey instrument and the criteria for good measurement properties using quality criteria. Data will also be extracted to categorise the items included in each survey instrument. A combination of a structured narrative synthesis and quantitate summaries in tabular format will allow for recommendations to be made on the use, adaptation and development of future survey instruments.

DISCUSSION: The value of survey instruments that evaluate women's experiences of their maternity care, as a marker of quality care, has been recognised internationally with many countries employing the use of such instruments to inform policy and practice. The development of these instruments must be methodologically sound and the instrument itself fit for the purpose and context in which it is used. This protocol describes the methods that will be used to complete a systematic review that will serve as a guide for choosing the most appropriate existing instruments to use or adapt so that they are fit for purpose, in addition to informing the development of new instruments.


Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages1
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2020


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