Stress and Pregnancy

May 2008 – July 2010

Research Team

  • Principal Investigators : Stefan Grzybowski and Jude Kornelsen
  • Support Team: Kathrin Stoll, Paul Dickinson

Funding Agencies

Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Project Summary

The Centre for Rural Health Research developed the “Rural Pregnancy Experience Scale” (RPES) based on extensive qualitative research as a mean to assess specific levels of stress in a rural woman’s life that might impact her pregnancy experiences including: a) access to care; b) availability of resources; c) importance of social support during birth; d) vision of birth; and e) experience of leaving the local community for birth. The goal of this study was to validate the RPES.

The RPES was validated and 187 women participated in the survey from 52 communities across rural British Columbia with different levels of access to maternity care services (ranging from no services to local specialist obstetrician). The results are that parturient women who had to travel more than one hour to access services were 7.4 times more likely to experience moderate or severe stress when compared to women who had local access to maternity services.

Related Links

Kornelsen, J., Stoll, K., Grzybowski, S. (2011).  Stress and Anxiety Associated with Lack of Access to Maternity Services for Rural Parturient Women. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 19(1), 9-14.

Kornelsen, J., Stoll, K., Grzybowski, S. (2011). Development and Psychometric Testing of the Rural Pregnancy Experience Scale (RPES). Journal of Nursing Measurement 19(2):15-128.