Surveys are a popular method of collecting data to explore factors associated with midwives' emotional wellbeing. However, existing survey instruments lack consideration of how working practices may influence outcomes. This study aimed to test the face and content validity of a new instrument by assessing midwives' comprehension of bespoke survey items.

A total of 24 cognitive interviews were conducted with midwives working across the UK. A framework matrix method facilitated descriptive and explanatory analysis of the interpretation of survey items. Interviews were followed by a discussion group with midwifery academics to help identify optimal wording of one problematic survey question.

A range of potential comprehension and response problems were identified, resulting in modifications and the addition of new survey items.

Cognitive interviews can be an effective method to confirm the relevance and usability of bespoke survey items and offer opportunities to improve wording to reduce potential sources of error, thus enhancing the face and content validity of surveys.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-259
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Midwifery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2023


  • Cognitive interviews
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Midwifery
  • Questionnaire design
  • Survey


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