Patient satisfaction with home-birth care in The Netherlands


  • Jan J Kerssens PhD

    1. Senior Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Primary Health Care (NIVEL), Department of Consumers Research, PO Box 1568, 3500 BN Utrecht, The Netherlands
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One of the necessary elements in an obstetric system of home confinements is well-organized postnatal home care In The Netherlands home care assistants assist midwives during home delivery, they care for the new mother as well as the newborn baby, instruct the family on infant health care and carry out household duties The growing demand for postnatal home care is difficult to meet, this has resulted in a short supply of the most popular day care programme and a level of provision which does not result in adequate services This study acknowledges the patient perspective of maternity home care in order to contribute to its organization The majority (79%) of service centres were willing to participate A total of 1812 (81%) women who recently gave birth to a child responded to a postal questionnaire addressing the quality of care according to five dimensions availability, continuity, interpersonal relationships, outcome and assistant's expertise Almost one-third of the new mothers rated the availability as inadequate while the assistant's expertise was rated positively Postnatal maternity home care is personalized, small-scale, and recognizes childbirth as a life event Furthermore, it is relatively inexpensive and contributes to the satisfaction of recipients