Evaluating satisfaction with maternity care in women from minority ethnic communities: development and validation of a Sylheti questionnaire

Int J Qual Health Care. 2001 Jun;13(3):215-30. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/13.3.215.


Objective: To develop a reliable and valid questionnaire to evaluate satisfaction with maternity care in Sylheti-speaking Bangladeshi women.

Design: Two-stage, psychometric study. Firstly, focus groups, in-depth interviews and iterative methods for translation and cultural adaptation were used to develop a Sylheti questionnaire, called the survey of Bangladeshi women's experience of maternity services from an English language questionnaire. Secondly, quantitative psychometric methods were used to field test and evaluate the acceptability, reliability and validity of this questionnaire.

Setting: Four hospitals providing maternity services in London, UK.

Study participants: Two hundred and forty-two women from the London Bangladeshi communities, who were in the antenatal (at least 4 months pregnant) or postnatal phase (up to 6 months after delivery). Women spoke Sylheti; a language with no accepted written form. Two purposive samples of 40 women in the antenatal or postnatal phase, one convenience sample of six women in the antenatal phase and three consecutve samples of 60 women in the postnatal phase participated in stage one. In stage two, 135 women (main sample) completed the questionnaire two months after delivery (82% response rate); 50 women (retest sample) from the main sample completed a second questionnaire two weeks later (96% response rate).

Main outcome measures: Women's views about maternity care elicited by qualitative methods and measured quantitatively using the survey of Bangladeshi women's experience of maternity services.

Results: The 121-item questionnaire was acceptable to women and showed good internal consistency (Cronbach's alphas 0.76-0.91), stability (test-retest reliability 0.72-0.84) and construct validity (e.g. able to detect group differences).

Conclusion: By combining qualitative and quantitative methods, it is possible to adapt an instrument to provide an acceptable, reliable and valid Sylheti questionnaire. The approach taken in developing this questonnaire provides a model for developing outcome measures for use with other minority ethnic communities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bangladesh / ethnology
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Care Surveys / methods*
  • Hospitals, Public / standards*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • London
  • Maternal Health Services / standards*
  • Patient Satisfaction / ethnology*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*