A Concept Analysis of Optimality in Perinatal Health


  • Holly Powell Kennedy

    Corresponding author
    1. Holly Powell Kennedy, PhD, CNM, FACNM, is an associate professor in the Department of Family Health Care Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco.
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Address for correspondence: Holly Powell Kennedy, PhD, CNM, FACNM, Department of Family Health Care Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, 2 Koret Way, Box 0606, Room N411Y, San Francisco, CA 94143. E-mail: holly.kennedy@nursing.ucsf.edu.


This analysis was conducted to describe the concept of optimality and its appropriateness for perinatal health care. The concept was identified in 24 scientific disciplines. Across all disciplines, the universal definition of optimality is the robust, efficient, and cost-effective achievement of best possible outcomes within a rule-governed framework. Optimality, specifically defined for perinatal health care, is the maximal perinatal outcome with minimal intervention placed against the context of the woman’s social, medical, and obstetric history. JOGNN, 35, 763-769; 2006. DOI: 10.1111/J.1552-6909.2006.00104.x