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Uptake of maternal health services has remained low in resource poor settings like rural India. Various socio-economic and cultural factors govern the availability and accessibility of these services to a woman. Effective health messaging can ensure behavior-change, but requires an accurate underst-anding of the existing socio-cultural dynamics in which these women live. The major objective of this paper is to develop and validate Attitude Scale for Measuring Maternal Health (MAMSH), designed as a quantitative instrument to measure the attitudes of women towards various maternal health issues. The Likert method of summated rating technique has been used to develop the Scale for Measuring Attitudes towards Maternal Health (MAMSH). A pool of 52 attitude statements (32 positive and 20 negative) based on key health issues and local perceptions of various factors that can possibly affect maternal health was created. Content validity of these statements was done with the help of experts. These finalized set of statements was then administered to a sample of 220 respondents. The values of these statements were computed using SPSS 16. Factor analysis using the principal component method finally led to the extraction of five factors having Eigen values > 1. The final scale – MAMSH comprises five factors, namely Nutritional Needs (NN), Anemia Identification (AI), Self-Assertiveness during Pregnancy (SAP), Existing Community Support (ECS) and Existing Facility Support (EFS) and is highly reliable with Cronbach of 0.81.
Keywords: Maternal health, attitude, Likert scale, India