Adaptation of the postpartum support questionnaire for mothers with multiple sclerosis


  • Elsie E. Gulick

    1. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, College of Nursing, Ackerson Hall, Room 119, 180 University Avenue, Newark, NJ 07102
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    • Professor.


The purposes of this study were to determine the dimensionality of the Postpartum Support Questionnaire adapted for mothers with multiple sclerosis through factor-analytic techniques and to provide construct validity for the factored dimensions. One hundred and seventy-four mothers with multiple sclerosis comprised the sample. Using a priori criteria, a three-factor structure, resulting from principal components analysis with an orthogonal rotation consisting of 24 of the 28 items, was found to best represent the dimensionality of the instrument. The three support factors—emotional, instrumental, and informational—showed acceptable coefficient alpha reliabilities at the 1-, 3-, and 6-month administrations. Evidence of construct validity was shown in that, as hypothesized, (a) mothers with comparatively lower emotional distress reported higher levels of emotional and instrumental support, and (b) mothers with one child reported receiving more informational support during the 6-month postpartum period than did mothers with more than one child. The results support the use of the 24-item Postpartum Support Questionnaire in assessing the adequacy of these specific dimensions of social support needed by mothers with multiple sclerosis during the postpartum period. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 26:30–39, 2003