Measuring women's empowerment during the perinatal period in high income countries: A scoping review of instruments used

Patricia Leahy-Warren*, Marianne Nieuwenhuijze

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

Abstract

Empowerment is acknowledged as a process facilitating those who are less powerful to be engaged in their problem identification, decision making and actions to gain control over their life. This is an important goal for women during the perinatal period in their transition to motherhood. A concept analysis of women's empowerment during the perinatal period found that psychological and social dimensions play a role in women's perinatal empowerment and iden-tified several defining attributes.The aim of this study was to identify robust validated instruments that measure all the attri-butes of women's empowerment during the perinatal period.We did a scoping review of scientific literature following the methodology of the JBI Re-viewer's Manual. We searched the database MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES and SocINDEX and selected papers meeting the inclusion criteria. Instruments measuring empower-ment or related concepts were identified in the selected papers. Two authors independently cross referenced the items of each instrument against the defining attributes for empowerment.Our search resulted in 9771 unique hits of which 36 papers were finally included. Studies were from various countries with a wide variety of aims, demographics of cohorts and timepoints across the perinatal period. Twenty-one different instruments were used to measure empower-ment, of which 11 were validated among women during the perinatal period. However, no identified instrument was developed specifically for women during the perinatal period or included all the dimensions of empowerment and the defining attributes.There is a need for a theoretically sound valid and reliable instrument measuring all the di-mensions of empowerment of women during the perinatal period. Once developed this instru-ment needs testing with a broad range of women. Results from such a study will inform the development of appropriate interventions that have a coherent theoretical basis and are empir-ically informed to enhance women's empowerment during the perinatal period.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14591
Number of pages10
JournalHeliyon
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023

Keywords

  • Childbirth
  • Empowerment
  • Perinatal period
  • Instrument
  • Women
  • CHILDBIRTH SELF-EFFICACY
  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL
  • PRENATAL-CARE
  • BIRTH SATISFACTION
  • PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES
  • ETHNICALLY DIVERSE
  • HEALTH
  • LABOR
  • SCALE
  • SUPPORT

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