Professional issues in maternal mental health scale (PIMMHS): The development and initial validation of a brief and valid measure

Julie Jomeen*, Patricia Jarrett, Colin R Martin

*Corresponding author for this work

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The life-threatening consequences of perinatal mental health problems (PMHP) are well documented. Midwives are ideally placed to effectively identify women at risk and facilitate early intervention. However, a multitude of factors contribute to failure in recognition and treatment. It would be of value for service providers to be able to identify key professional issues in their own context. The present study sought to develop and evaluate a ‘professional issues in maternal mental health’ scale (PIMMHS), explore its psychometric properties and potential application.

A cross-sectional design and instrument evaluation approach was taken to investigate the psychometric properties of the PIMMHS. A total of 266 student midwives from 10 UK institutions completed the PIMMHS via Survey Monkey.

PIMMHS comprises two sub-scales of emotion/communication (PIMMHSEmotion sub-scale) and training (PIMMHS-Training sub-scale). Both PIMMHS subscales demonstrate adequate divergent and convergent validity. Sub-optimal internal consistency was observed for the training sub-scale, however, the PIMMHS-Training had a more impressive effect size in terms of known-groups discriminant validity compared to PIMMHS-Emotion.

The PIMMHS appears to be a sound psychometric instrument for assessing professional issues that influence the practice of student midwives in PMH. The PIMMHS could support education providers to identify areas for curriculum development, as well as maternity services in proactive assessment of service provision, to identify training and service development opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalEuropean Journal of Midwifery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • perinatal mental health
  • psychometrics
  • midwives
  • professional issues
  • education
  • service development


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