EFFECTIVENESS OF POSTPARTUM EDUCATION RECEIVED BY CERTIFIED NURSE-MIDWIVES’CLIENTS AT A UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

Authors

  • R. Elaine Regan CNM, CHES, MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. R. Elaine Regan received her BSN at the University of Massachusetts (1975). She studied nurse-midwifery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (1978). She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and received her MS in health education from the University of New Mexico (1991). At the time of this study she was with the Nurse-Midwifery Division of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the School of Medicine at the University of New Mexico.
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  • Mona T. Lydon-Rochelle CNM, MSN

    1. Mona T. Lydon-Rochelle studied nurse-midwifery at the Frontier Nursing Service School of Midwifery (1977). She received her nursing degrees at the University of New Mexico (BSN, 1988) and Case Western Reserve University (MSN, 1991). She is enrolled in the University of Washington's School of Nursing doctoral program. At the time of this study, she was with the Nurse-Midwifery Division of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the School of Medicine at the University of New Mexico.
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Address correspondence to Elaine Regan, CNM, MS, 419 Tulane, S.E., Albuquerque, NM 87106.

ABSTRACT

This pilot study's objective was to determine the effectiveness of postpartum education received by midwifery clients at the University of New Mexico Hospital. The authors of the study randomized 100 women following delivery to two groups. Group one, n = 55, received written postpartum instructions only. Group two, n = 45, received oral instructions by the certified nurse-midwife in addition to the written instructions. Both groups answered a written questionnaire after the teaching. Analyses were carried out on 100 posttest scores. Mean test scores for group one was 17.9 out of a possible score of 20. Mean score for group two was 18.3. No significant difference was detected between these two mean scores. A 95% confidence interval for the difference between mean scores was −1.9 to 1.1 (P > .05). Reliability of instrument was established via the Kuder-Richardson formula 21. This conservative estimate of internal consistency yielded r = .50. The authors found that oral instructions by the certified nurse-midwife did not significantly increase the knowledge of primiparas as evidenced by posttest results. However, results must be interpreted cautiously for three reasons: low reliability of the instrument, the small difference between groups, and the sample size. The need to determine how best to approach postpartum education is imperative in this era of early hospital discharge. A certified nurse-midwife's time may be better spent focusing on individual concerns rather than on a set teaching agenda. Alternative opportunities such as postpartum home visits need to be explored as a means of providing support and guidance to new mothers.

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