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OBJECTIVE: To examine the psychometric properties of the Prenatal Opioid Use Perceived Stigma (POPS) scale and to assess the relationship of POPS scores to adequate prenatal care.
DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.
SETTING: Medical centers in Alabama, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (N = 4).
PARTICIPANTS: Women (N = 127) who took opioids during pregnancy and whose infants participated in the Outcomes of Babies With Opioid Exposure Study.
METHODS: Participants reported their perceptions of stigma during pregnancy by responding to the eight items on the POPS scale. We evaluated the instrument's internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha), structural validity (factor analysis), and convergent validity (relationship with measures of similar constructs). In addition, to assess construct validity, we used logistic regression to examine the relationship of POPS scores to the receipt of adequate prenatal care.
RESULTS: The internal consistency of the POPS scale was high (Cronbach's α = .88), and all item-total correlations were greater than 0.50. The factor analysis confirmed that the items cluster into one factor. Participants who reported greater perceived stigma toward substance users and everyday discrimination in medical settings had higher POPS scores, which supported the convergent validity of the scale. POPS scores were significantly associated with not receiving adequate prenatal care, adjusted OR = 1.47, 95% confidence interval [1.19, 1.83], p < .001.
CONCLUSION: The psychometric testing of the POPS scale provided initial support for the reliability and validity of the instrument. It may be a useful tool with which to assess perceived stigma among women who take opioids, a potential barrier to seeking health care during pregnancy.