Childbirth Education Programs: The Relationship Between Confidence and Knowledge


  • Barbara Walker B.App.Sc. (Phty), M.A.P.A.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Barbara Walker was a senior tutor at the Physiotherapy School, Lincoln Institute, Carlton, Victoria, Australia, and conducted a private obstetric physiotherapy practice. She is now Chief Physiotherapist, Queen Victoria Medical Centre, Melbourne, Australia.
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  • Ann Erdman B.App.Sc. (Phty), M.A.P.A.

    1. Ann Erdman is a physiotherapist at the Community Health Centre, Chadstone, Victoria, Australia, and has a private obstetric physiotherapy practice.
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Address inquiries to Barbara Walker, Physiotherapy Department, Queen Victoria Medical Centre, 172 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, 3000, Australia.


ABSTRACT: One hundred sixty-five male and female participants in childbirth preparation programs rated their own knowledge, anxiety, practical skills, and confidence to cope with labor. These assessments were made before classes, after classes, and after labor. Self-reported ratings of knowledge of labor, of labor ward management and hospital routine, and of practical skills increased after classes but were unchanged after labor. The importance of practical skills was rated highly in all three questionnaires. Self-reported ratings of confidence increased slightly after classes and returned to the pre-class level after labor. Selfreported ratings of anxiety were unchanged by classes in males and multiparous females, but declined significantly for primiparous females. Self-reported confidence was significantly associated with knowledge of labor before classes began. After classes, rating of confidence was significantly related to knowledge of practical skills.