Childbirth confidence: validating the childbirth self-efficacy inventory (CBSEI) in an Australian sample


Dr Debra Rickwood, Faculty of Applied Science, University of Canberra, PO Box 1 Belconnen, ACT 2616, Australia.


This study examined the reliability and validity of the Childbirth Self-Efficacy Inventory (CBSEI) (Lowe 1993) in a sample of 100 Australian women. Consistent with US data, the measure was shown to have high internal consistency. Validity of the instrument was determined by applying self-efficacy theory (Bandura 1982), which predicts that parity should have the largest effect on childbirth self-efficacy, followed by knowledge, then support and finally anxiety. Results revealed that having a prior good birth experience and knowledge about childbirth had significant effects on childbirth self-efficacy. A factor analysis was performed to determine whether the original factor structure of this instrument held for Australian women. While outcome expectancies and self-efficacy expectancies emerged as distinct factors, the results showed that Australian women did not differentiate between active and second-stage labour. Rather than the two stages of labour emerging as dimensions of the CBSEI, two externally focused coping strategies were revealed.