Maternal reflective function scale: the development of a scale for primary health care services

Diamond, Caroline Sara, Caltabiano, Nerina Jane, Caltabiano, Marie, and Goodman, Donna (2013) Maternal reflective function scale: the development of a scale for primary health care services. Archives of Women's Mental Health, 16 (Supplement 1). p. 14.

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Background: The development of a secure attachment is considered one of the most crucial milestones in the first 12 months of an infant's life. Furthermore, it is thought that reflective function is a key component in the developing attachment relationship. Approximately 20–30 % of new mothers will struggle with tuning into their baby and responding sensitively, with postnatal depression a well-recognised risk factor for the attachment relationship.

Primary health care providers have a key role in the screening and surveillance of common developmental problems in young children. They are well placed to monitor mother-infant relationships within the context of universal child health checks and targeted home visiting programs.

Aim: The aim of this study is to develop and conduct preliminary validation of a cost effective, brief self-report scale that is acceptable tomothers of young infants to identify potential difficulties with reflective function.

Method: A development scale was constructed with an over inclusive item set generated from a multidisciplinary, intersectorial expert groupand verbatim statements from a representative, community focus group of mothers. Pilot testing of items occurred with the focus group. Approximately 300 mothers of young infants (<12 months) are being recruited from primary health centres in three regional areas in North Queensland. Basic demographic information is being collected about mothers and their infants. Three other other scales are being administered concurrently to examine convergent and divergent validity. Exploratory Factor Analysis will be used to examine the underlying factor structure. Analysis with the Rasch Model will be conducted to explore item fit and refine the scale.

Results: The development scale and demographics of the North Queensland region will be presented and discussed in a primary health context.

Conclusions: This preliminary study will be discussed in relation to the scale's overall utility and acceptability as a screening tool to detect difficulties with reflective function in mothers attending primary health centres. Further validation of the final scale that includes different health care and cultural settings is recommended.

Item ID: 27917
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1435-1102
Keywords: maternal reflective function
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2013 23:43
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing @ 50%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services @ 100%
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