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Evaluation of the CORE-10 to assess psychological distress in pregnancy

Coates, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-6944-6428, Ayers, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-6153-2460, de Visser, R. & Thornton, A. (2019). Evaluation of the CORE-10 to assess psychological distress in pregnancy. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, doi: 10.1080/02646838.2019.1702631


Background: Women experience diverse symptoms of mental ill-health in pregnancy, yet measures usually only assess depression or anxiety. Measures may, therefore, miss out on identifying women experiencing distress.

Objective: We aimed to examine the validity and reliability of the CORE-10: a short measure with broad coverage of symptoms of distress and associated functioning, in pregnant women.

Methods: 366 women 26-38 weeks pregnant completed online measures of distress (CORE-10), depression (Whooley questions), anxiety (Generalised Anxiety Disorder-2), and a single item measuring worry about psychological health. We examined convergent and factorial validity and concordance rates of the measures.

Results: Levels of distress were high, with anxiety the most reported symptom. The CORE-10 showed good convergent validity. A two-factor structure representing 'symptoms' and 'ways of coping' best fit this sample. Internal reliability of the symptoms' factor was good.

Discussion: The self-selected online sample may not be representative of pregnant women in the third trimester and a diagnostic interview was not used. Based on this validation study, the CORE-10 potentially offers an assessment of a broad range of symptoms of postnatal distress within the confines of a measure brief enough to be usable in clinical settings. Further validation is needed.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology on 24/12/2019, available online:
Publisher Keywords: Pregnancy, anxiety, depression, distress, psychometrics, validity
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
Text - Accepted Version
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