Anonymous web survey of women in Oslo.
The mother-child pilot study was undertaken to investigate the acceptability and comprehension of the questionnaire on potentially traumatizing events in the context of our application to the Institute of Public Health to incorporate such questions in the Mother and Child study.
The questionnaire “Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire” (SLESQ) was translated into Norwegian and revised for our purposes. The SLESQ questionnaire was subsequently tested in interviews with high-risk groups (women’s shelters, incest centres and prisons). To recruit women with children in the suitable age group (adapted to the Mother and Child study) we approached the Board of Education, which approved the project and distributed our presentation letter to mothers of first- to third-graders in the Oslo schools. In the presentation letter the mothers were asked to help us construct good questions about traumatic events by responding to a web-based questionnaire. The questionnaire contained 13 questions related to potentially traumatizing events that the woman herself might have been exposed to, as well as 13 questions related to potentially traumatizing events that her child might have been exposed to. Both these questionnaires were followed by questions pertaining to acceptability and comprehension, including whether the respondent reacted negatively or positively to such questions or found them difficult to answer, and why. The results from the survey are being used in two ways: 1. To assess the validity of the SLESQ and to introduce necessary amendments to the questionnaire. 2. Data from the pilot study form the basis for independent research articles on issues of methodology with regard to screening for potentially traumatizing events.