Perceived Breastfeeding Support Assessment Tool (PBSAT): Development and testing of psychometric properties with Pakistani urban working mothers

Shela Akbar Ali Hirani, Rozina Karmaliani, Thomas Christie, Yasmin Parpio, Ghazala Rafique

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: breast feeding is an essential source of nutrition among young babies; however, in Pakistan a gradual decline in prevalence of breast feeding, especially among urban working mothers, has been reported. Previous studies among Pakistani urban working mothers have revealed that ensuring exclusivity and continuation of breast feeding is challenging if social and/or workplace environmental support is minimal or absent. This problem indicated a crucial need to assess availability of breast-feeding support for Pakistani urban working mothers by using a comprehensive, reliable, and validated tool in their national language (Urdu). Purpose: to develop and test the psychometric properties of the 'Perceived Breastfeeding Support Assessment Tool' (PBSAT) that can gauge Pakistani urban working mothers' perceptions about breast-feeding support. Methodology: this methodological research was undertaken in five phases. During phase I, a preliminary draft of the PBSAT was developed by using the Socio-ecological model, reviewing literature, and referring to two United States based tools. In Phase II, the instrument was evaluated by seven different experts, and, in Phase III, the instrument was revised, translated, and back translated. In Phase IV, the tool was pilot tested among 20 participants and then modified on the basis of statistical analysis. In Phase V, the refined instrument was tested on 200 breast-feeding working mothers recruited through purposive sampling from the government and private health-care settings in Karachi, Pakistan. Approvals were received from the Ethical Review Committees of the identified settings. Findings: the 29-item based PBSAT revealed an acceptable inter-rater reliability of 0.95, and an internal consistency reliability coefficient (Cronbach's alpha) of 0.85. A construct validity assessment through Exploratory Factor Analysis revealed that the PBSAT has two dimensions, 'workplace environmental support' (12 items; =0.86) and 'social environmental support' (17 items; =0.77). Conclusion: the study developed a 29-item based two-dimensional tool (in Urdu) that has acceptable psychometric properties. The PBSAT is context specific, comprehensive, and user-friendly, so it can be administered by health-care workers, employers, policy makers, and researchers to improve the quality of services of breast-feeding urban working mothers, and could ultimately improve child health in Pakistan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-607
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Breast feeding
  • Instrument
  • Pakistan
  • Working mothers


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