Evaluation of Domains of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures for Recovery after Childbirth: A Scoping and Systematic Review

Pervez Sultan*, Nishant Sadana, Nadir Sharawi, Lindsay Blake, Kariem El-Boghdadly, Andrea Falvo, Sarah Ciechanowicz, Waseem Athar, Raj Shah, Nan Guo, Sally Jensen, Yasser El-Sayed, David Cella, Brendan Carvalho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Importance: Despite the global delivery rate being approximately 259 deliveries per minute in 2018, postpartum recovery remains poorly defined. Objectives: To identify validated patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) used to assess outpatient and inpatient postpartum recovery, evaluate frequency of PROM use, report the proportion of identified PROMs used within each recovery domain, report the number of published studies within each recovery domain, summarize descriptive data (country of origin, year of study, and journal specialty) for published studies using PROMs to evaluate postpartum recovery, and report PROMs used to evaluate global postpartum recovery. Evidence Review: This study followed PRISMA-ScR guidelines. A literature search of 4 databases (MEDLINE through PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and CINAHL) was performed on July 1, 2019, to identify PROMs used to evaluate 12 author-defined domains of postpartum recovery. All psychometrically evaluated PROMs used to evaluate inpatient or outpatient postpartum recovery after all delivery modes were included. Findings: From 8008 screened titles and abstracts, 573 studies (515 outpatient and 58 inpatient) were identified in this review. A total of 201 PROMs were used to assess recovery for outpatient studies and 73 PROMs were used to assess recovery for inpatient studies. The top 5 domains (with highest to lowest numbers of PROMs) used to assess outpatient recovery were psychosocial distress (77 PROMs), surgical complications (26 PROMs), psychosocial support (27 PROMs), motherhood experience (16 PROMs), and sexual function (13 PROMs). Among inpatient studies, the top 5 domains were psychosocial distress (32 PROMs), motherhood experience (7 PROMs), psychosocial support (5 PROMs), fatigue (5 PROMs), and cognition (3 PROMs). The 3 most frequently used PROMs were the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (267 studies), Short-Form 36 Health Questionnaire (global recovery assessment; 40 studies), and Female Sexual Function Index (35 studies). A total of 24 global recovery PROMs were identified among all included studies. Most studies were undertaken in the United States within the last decade and were published in psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology journals. Conclusions and Relevance: Most PROMs identified in this review evaluated a single domain of recovery. Future research should focus on determining the psychometric properties of individual and global recovery PROMs identified in this review to provide recommendations regarding optimum measures of postpartum recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere205540
JournalJAMA network open
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 22 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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