PHILOSOPHY OF CARE

A Pilot Study Comparing Certified Nurse-Midwives and Physicians

Authors

  • Patricia Aikins Murphy CNM, MS,

  • Dawn Yankou RN, MHSc,

    Corresponding author
      Center for Nursing Research, CNM/MD Study, School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0482.
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    • Dawn Yankou, RN, MHSc, is a doctoral candidate in nursing at the University of Michigan. She has been a research assistant for over two years on the larger study comparing care by CNMs and MDs from which this pilot was generated

  • Barbara A. Petersen CNM, EdD,

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    • Barbara A. Petersen, CNM, EdD, is an assistant professor of nursing and coordinator of the nurse-midwifery program at the University of Michigan. She was formerly Director of Clinical Research at the Maternity Center Association in New York City

  • Deborah Oakley PhD,

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    • Deborah Oakley, PhD, is a professor of nursing at the University of Michigan. Her research deals with reproductive health

  • Fran Mayes RN, MS

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    • Fran Mayes, RN, MS, is a research investigator in the School of Nursing, University of Michigan. She has been an active childbirth educator for many years


Center for Nursing Research, CNM/MD Study, School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0482.

ABSTRACT

Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and physicians (MDs) are thought to differ in philosophy of pregnancy care and childbirth. However, these differences have not been documented quantitatively. This article describes and compares the beliefs and care philosophies of CNMs and MDs toward aspects of antepartum and intrapartum care of low-risk women. The sample included seven CNMs and 10 obstetricians at a large territary-care hospital. Using stringent statistical criteria for testing differences between the two groups, significantly more teaching was done by the CNMs than by the MDs. Other differences were all in expected directions.

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