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Satisfaction With Planned Place of Birth Among Midwifery Clients in British Columbia

Authors

  • Patricia A. Janssen RN, PhD,

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    • Patricia Janssen, RN, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Care and Epidemiology at the University of British Columbia and holds cross appointments in the Department of Family Practice and School of Nursing. She is also a faculty member at the British Columbia Research Institute for Children's and Women's Health.

  • Elaine A. Carty CNM, MSN,

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    • Elaine Carty, MSN, CNM, is Director of the Midwifery Program in the Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine, and a Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia.

  • Birgit Reime DSc, MPH

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    • Birgit Reime, DSc, MPH, is a psychologist and an epidemiologist. She is currently a professor in public health and epidemiology at the University of Applied Sciences at Fulda, Germany.


Patricia A. Janssen, Department of Health Care and Epidemiology, University of British Columbia, 5804 Fairview Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6T-1Z3, Canada. E-mail: pjanssen@interchange.ubc.ca

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare satisfaction with the birth experience among a population of women planning birth at home versus in hospital. In British Columbia, Canada, all midwives offer women meeting eligibility requirements for homebirth the choice to give birth in hospital or at home. Therefore, satisfaction can be attributed to planned place of birth, as the caregivers were the same in both settings. The mean overall score on the Labour Agentry Scale among women who had planned a homebirth (n = 550), 188.49 ± 16.85, was significantly higher than those who planned birth in hospital (n = 108), 176.60 ± 23.79; P < .001. Overall satisfaction with the birth experience was higher among women planning birth at home, 4.87 ± 0.42 versus 4.80 ± 0.49 on a scale of 1 to 5, although this difference was not statistically significant; P = .06. Among women whose actual place of birth was congruent with where they had planned, overall satisfaction was higher in the homebirth group, 4.95 ± 0.20 versus 4.75 ± 0.53; P < .001. Although satisfaction with the birth experience was high in both the home and hospital settings, women planning birth at home were somewhat more satisfied with their experience, particularly if they were able to complete the birth at home.

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