Caring Behaviors by Nurses: Women's Perceptions During Childbirth


Address for correspondence: Gregoy A. Bechtel, MPH, PhD, Professor, Graduate Programs in Nursing, Southern University, 11161 Paddock Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70816.


Objective: To identify nursing behaviors perceived as caring by women during childbirth.

Design: Descriptive research design using a structured questionnaire.

Setting: Interviews were conducted after vaginal birth and before hospital discharge.

Participants: A convenience sample of 31 childbearing women.

Results: Women's perceptions of caring behaviors used by nurses were measured via the Caring Behavior Assessment! an instrument that lists 63 nursing behaviors in seven subscales and is congruent with Watson's (1988) caring factors. Mothers who had uncomplicated vaginal births were asked to rate behaviors of their nurses. Behaviors in the human needs assistance subscale, which included items such as “help me with my care until I'm able to do it for myself,”“give my treatments and medication on time,” and “check my condition closely,” were perceived as the most caring.

Conclusion: Identification of nursing behaviors that are perceived as caring will help nurses working in managed care environments where time spent with patients is decreased.