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Table 2 Measurement tools used, prevalence, and parity in Fear of Childbirth studies

From: Definitions, measurements and prevalence of fear of childbirth: a systematic review

First author, year of publication, [reference number] Measurement tools used, in descending order of cut-off point Level of FOC Time point of FOC Prevalence, % (95% CI) Number Parity groupa
  W-DEQ      
Rouhe 2015 [65] W-DEQ, with score ≥ 100 Very severe FOC Early pregnancy 8.1 (7.3–8.9) 371/4575 1
Heimstad 2006 [78] W-DEQ score > 100
W-DEQ > 95
‘Serious FOC; of clinical importance’ Mid pregnancy 5.5 (4.3–6.8)
7.3 (5.9–8.8)
72/1321
96/1321
2
Nieminen 2009 [79] W-DEQ score ≥ 100
W-DEQ score ≥ 85
Very intense FOC
Intense FOC
Pregnancy (various times) 5.7 (4.6–6.9)
15.6 (13.8–17.4)
93/1635
254/1635
2
Adams
2012 [80]
W-DEQ score ≥ 85 ‘High fear’ At 32 weeks 7.5 (6.4–8.7) 165/2206 2
Jespersen 2014 [81] W-DEQ score ≥ 85 Severe FOC At 37 weeks 9.0 (7.8–10.2) 207/2310 1
Jokić-Begić 2014 [82] W-DEQ score ≥ 85 FOC Late pregnancy 11.5 (7.4–16.8) 23/200 2
Lukasse 2014 [62] W-DEQ score ≥ 85 Severe FOC In pregnancy (various times) 11.2 (total population in six countries) b(10.5–12.0)
Belgium: 6.3 (4.7–8.2)
Iceland: 8.4 (6.3–10.9)
Denmark: 9.2 (7.6–10.9)
Norway: 11.8 (10.5–13.2)
Sweden: 14.8 (12.6–17.2)
Estonia: 14.8 (12.6–17.3)
Total: 769/6870
B: 52/828
I: 49/585
D: 115/1252
N: 278/2351
S: 142/958
E: 133/896
2
Söderqvist 2004 [83] W-DEQ score ≥ 85 Severe FOC Late pregnancy 13.5 (11.4–15.8) 127/942 2
Zar 2002 [84] W-DEQ score ≥ 85 Severe FOC Late pregnancy 11.1 (8.5–14.1) 56/506 2
Fenwick 2009 [77] W-DEQ score ≥ 71 ‘High level of fear’ Late pregnancy
6 weeks postpartum
26.2 (21.9–30.8)
22.4 (17.3–28.1)
105/401
55/246
2
Hall 2009 [85] W-DEQ score ≥ 66 ‘High fear’ Late pregnancy 24.9 (21.6–28.4) 162/650 2
  Fear of Birth scale (FOBS)      
Haines 2011 [67] Fear of Birth Scale (FOBS) score > 50. Elevated level of FOC Mid-pregnancy Sweden: 31.1 (26.5–36.0)
Australia: 29.5 (21.6–38.4)
119/383
36/122
2
Ternström 2014 [72] Fear of Birth Scale (FOBS) score > =60. Childbirth related fear (CBRF) Mid-pregnancy 22.1 (18.9–25.6) 134/606 2
  Various scales to measure FOC      
Elvander 2013 [63] First Baby Study Birth Anticipation Scale score 21–30 High fear Late pregnancy 20.3 (18.9–21.8) 611/3005 1
Lowe 2000 [74] Childbirth Attitudes Questionnaire,
1 Standard Deviation above mean
High fear Late pregnancy 19.3 (14.8–24.4) 54/280 1
Poikkeus 2006 [75] Revised Fear-of-Childbirth questionnaire, total score ≥ 6 Severe fear Mid pregnancy 11.0 (8.8–13.5) 82/746 2
  Single item question – 3 point Likert response scale      
Geissbuehler 2002 [69] ‘Are you anxious or afraid about the birth?’, answer by ‘Yes, very afraid’ FOC Late pregnancy 5.3 (4.8–5.8) 450/8528 2
Laursen 2008 [64] ‘Are you anxious about the course of the upcoming delivery?’ answered with ‘A lot‘ FOC Early pregnancy
Late pregnancy
7.6 (7.3–7.9)
7.4 (7.1–7.7)
2308/30,480
2245/30,480
1
  Single item question – 4 point Likert response scale      
Hildingsson 2010 [60] ’How do you feel when thinking about labour and birth?’ answered with: ‘A lot/very much’ Childbirth related fear Mid pregnancy 14.0 (12.1–16.1) 170/1212 2
Nilsson 2012 [61] ’To what extent do you experience worries and fear?’ answered with: ‘A great deal/very much’ c FOC 1 year after childbirth 15.1 (12.6–17.9) 115/761 2
  Single item question – 5/6 point Likert response scale      
Eriksson 2005 [71] A statement ‘Childbirth-related fear influences my daily life in a negative sense’ with a 6-point Likert scale Intense fear Assessed retrospectively 22.9 (18.9–27.3) 94/410 2
Waldenström 2006 [70] A question: ‘How do you feel when thinking about labour and birth?‘answered by ‘Very negative‘ Childbirth related fear Early pregnancy 3.6 (3.0–4.4) 97/2662 2
  Miscellaneous      
Fabian 2004 [73] Yes to a question on whether they had attended/needed to attend a clinic for counseling because of FOC FOC Early pregnancy 15.4 (14.0–16.9) 385/2503 2
Räisänen 2014 [66] Register study. FOC defined according to ICD – code 099.80 FOC Pregnancy 3.7 (3.6–3.7) 28,960/ 788,317 2
  1. VAS Visual Analogue Scale, FOC Fear Of Childbirth
  2. aParity group 1 = nulli/primiparous women only, 2 = both primi- and multiparous women
  3. bSignificant difference in country rates (chi-square = 55.5, d.f. = 5, p < 0.0001)
  4. cSame study population as in Hildingsson 2010