2015 Scottish Maternity Care Survey Technical Report

This report provides information on the technical aspects of the 2015 Maternity Care Survey, including development, implementation, analysis and reporting.

This document is part of a collection

3 Survey Design

Survey development

3.1 The survey questionnaire was largely based on the one used in the 2013 survey, modified slightly to ensure its continued relevance and based on our learning from the previous results. The survey covered women’s experiences of:

  • antenatal care
  • care during labour and birth of their baby
  • postnatal care in hospital
  • feeding their baby
  • care at home after the birth

3.2 A copy of the 2015 questionnaire is available here: www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Health/maternitysurvey/2015Results

3.3 It asks women both to report their experiences of key aspects at each of these stages and also to give an overall rating of the care that they received at each stage. The overall rating of care reflects the individual women’s evaluation and values in relation to her actual experience. At the end of each section women were invited to provide free text comments specific to that stage. For the first time an analysis of these comments have been incorporated into the main report alongside the quantitative analysis.

Changes to the 2015 survey, compared with the 2013 survey

New questions

3.4 We added 8 new questions to the 2015 Scottish Maternity Care survey. They are shown in Table 1 below:

Table 1 New questions for the 2015 Scottish Maternity Care survey

Question Number Question Reason for new question
B13 During your antenatal check-ups, were your personal circumstances taken into account? Consistency with the same question asked in the postnatal at home section
B14 During your pregnancy, did you have a discussion with your Health Visitor? In order to understand the extent of contact by Health Visitors, in line with the new Health Visitor pathway which stipulates a contact during pregnancy, and whether this contact was important to women.
C3 During your pregnancy, were you given enough information about the pain relief you could use when giving birth? In recognition of the importance of assisting women to cope with the pain that they experience. Previous question on methods of pain relief (2013) was difficult to interpret
C4 Did you feel that you had enough help to enable you to cope with your pain during labour?
D5 Thinking about your stay in hospital, if your partner or someone else close to you was involved in your care, were they able to stay with you as much as you wanted? Recognising the importance placed on this issue by women and increased opportunity for partner to stay.
F4 Since your baby’s birth have you seen a midwife at a clinic? To assess the extent to which new approaches to provision of postnatal care have been introduced.
F5 Was it convenient for you to see a midwife at a clinic? To assess women’s views of use of clinics.
F6 Were you given a choice about where you saw a midwife? Consistency with antenatal section.

3.5 We changed 4 questions for the 2015 Scottish Maternity Care survey. They are shown in Table 2 below:

Table 2: Questions changed for the 2015 Scottish Maternity Care survey

Question Number Question in 2015 Question in 2013 Reason for change
B10 Did you have a named midwife? Was this your named midwife? To provide clarity about the extent to which women have a named midwife
F8 Did you see your named midwife at home or in a clinic after birth? Was this your named midwife?
F18 Were you given enough information about your own physical recovery after the birth? Were you given enough information about your own recovery after the birth? To clarify that the question relates to physical recovery (emotional changes covered elsewhere)
F20 Were you told who you could contact if you needed advice about emotional changes you might experience after the birth? Did a midwife or health visitor ask you how you were feeling emotionally? To ask more specifically the extent to which women knew where to go for advice

3.6 We removed 4 questions from the 2013 Scottish Maternity Care survey. They are shown in Table 3 below:

Table 3: Questions removed from the 2013 Scottish Maternity Care survey

Question Number in the 2013 survey Question Reason for deletion
A2 What time was your baby born? Insufficient use made of this data
C3 During your pregnancy, what type of pain relief did you plan to use when giving birth? Did not give useful information and was difficult to interpret when analysed with C4 and 5 below. These questions did not address the question of adequate pain relief.
C4 Did the pain relief you used change from what you had originally planned?
C5 Why did you not use the choice of pain relief that you had originally planned to?

Survey materials

3.7 The survey mail out included a questionnaire, an invitation letter, an information leaflet in a range of languages and a freepost return envelope. Women had the option to complete and return the paper version of the questionnaire, to complete the questionnaire online or via a telephone helpline in a wide range of languages. The helpline was also available to handle questions or complaints about the survey.

3.8 A copy of the questionnaire and other survey materials can be found at: www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Health/maternitysurvey/2015Results.


Email: Emma Milburn

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