Evaluating the effect of childbirth education class: a mixed-method study


  • Linda Y.K. Lee phd, rn, rm,

    Corresponding author
    1. Assistant Professor, Nursing Team, The Open University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China,
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  • Eleanor Holroyd phd (Medical Anthropology), rn, rm

    1. Professor, Asian and Gender Nursing,
    2. Head, Division of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Health Sciences, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia
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Linda Y.K. Lee, Nursing Team, The Open University of Hong Kong, 30 Good Shepherd Street, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China; Tel: 852-2768-6806; Fax: 852-2789-1170; E-mail: yklee@ouhk.edu.hk.


Aim:  To examine Chinese women's satisfaction with and the perceived effect of childbirth education class on their labour experience.

Background:  Attending childbirth education classes is a common activity for pregnant women. Nonetheless, evidence reveals that evaluation of the effects of childbirth education classes is inconsistent. Moreover, women's perceived effect of these classes has not been systematically examined.

Methods:  This two-phase study adopted a mixed-method design with Donadedian's model as the theoretical framework. In Phase One, a random sample of 40 Chinese women was invited to complete a questionnaire after attending a childbirth education class. The questionnaire was focused on their satisfaction with specific aspects of the class. Descriptive statistics were performed to summarize participants’ response. In Phase Two, six of the original 40 women were purposively selected for a semi-structured interview pertaining to the perceived effect of the childbirth education class on their labour experience. Thematic analysis was conducted on the interview data.

Findings:  The participants expressed overall satisfaction with the class. The area that satisfied them the most was the performance of the midwife. The areas that satisfied them the least were the date, length, size and time of the class. Three themes emerged from the interview data, namely, ‘learning about labour’, ‘contributing to a smooth labour process’ and ‘coping with uncertainty and handling anxiety.

Conclusion:  This study supports using a mixed-method approach to evaluate client education activity, and highlights the importance of cultivating positive coping measures among the Chinese women after attending childbirth education class when facing childbirth-related anxiety.