A national survey of women's views of their maternity care in Scotland

V Hundley, A M Rennie, A Fitzmaurice, W Graham, E van Teijlingen, G Penney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: a survey of women's views of their care was undertaken as part of a national audit of maternity services in Scotland,The overall aim of the audit was to determine the extent to which recommendations from recent national policy documents had been adopted in practice.

Design: a cross - sectional study seeking the views of all women giving birth throughout Scotland during a 10-day period in September 1998.

Participants: all women giving birth in Scotland within the survey period were eligible to participate in the study. Women unable to complete the questionnaire in English, women for whom the midwife deemed it inappropriate, and women who delivered but no longer resided in Scotland by their 10th postnatal day were excluded.

Data collection: a self-complete questionnaire given to the woman by her community midwife for completion on her 10th postnatal day.

Data analysis: analysis was carried out using the statistical package SPSS for Windows. Descriptive statistics were produced for all variables. Statistical tests of significance were not used, as this was primarily a descriptive survey,

Findings: of the 1152 questionnaires returned, 1137 were suitable for analysis,This gave a response rate of 69% of the eligible population (1639), Most women (80%) had the majority of their antenatal care in the community but only one third had a choice about this. Sixty-nine per cent of women received care from one or two people. However, only 37% had a choice about who these people were. The majority of women gave birth in hospital (09%). Sixty-one per cent felt that they had a choice about where they could have their baby. However, fewer women had a choice about having a home birth (41%) or a DOMINO delivery (23%), Just over half the women felt that it was important to be cared for by a delivery (23%). Just over half the women felt that it was important to be cared for midwife that they had met during pregnancy but only 12% of women achieved this.

Sixty-two per cent of women had talked to a health professional about what happened during labour and delivery but less than half had spoken with a professional who was present during her labour or birth.

Conclusions: considerable efforts have been made to improve information and choice for women, However, it is clear that further work is needed if women are to be offered informed choice in the provision of their maternity care. (C) 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-313
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2000




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