Women's perceptions of informed choice in maternity care.
ABSTRACT to describe the extent to which women using maternity services perceive that they have exercised informed choice.
twelve maternity units in Wales.
postal survey of women using maternity services, covering women's views of the extent to which they exercised informed choice overall, and at eight decision points during their care.
1386 women at approximately 28 weeks gestation (antenatal sample) and 1741 women at approximately 8 weeks post delivery (postnatal sample).
54% of women perceived that they exercised informed choice overall in the antenatal sample (95% CI: 51-57%) and 54% overall in the postnatal sample (95% CI: 52-56%). Perceptions of informed choice differed by decision point, varying between 31% for fetal heart monitoring during labour and 73% for the screening test for Down's syndrome and spina bifida in the baby. There were differences by maternity unit, even when the characteristics of women attending these units were taken into account. Multiparous women, women from manual occupations and women with lower educational status were more likely to feel that they exercised informed choice during antenatal care. These sub-groups of women were also more likely to report a preference for not sharing decision-making with health professionals.
a large minority of women felt that they had not exercised informed choice overall in their maternity care. The perception of informed choice differed by decision point, maternity unit and characteristics of the woman.
attaining informed choice is more of a challenge for some decision points in maternity care than others, particularly fetal monitoring. The difference in levels of informed choice between maternity units highlights the importance of maternity unit policy in the promotion of informed choice.
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate the impact of general practitioners' commissioning of maternity services on women's experiences of care and on resource use, and to consider the implications for primary care commissioning. Comparison of women's experiences and resource use between 11 commissioning and 10 non-commissioning general practices. Face-to-face interviews with 212 staff in general practices, National Health Service trusts and health authorities between 1996 and 1998 to establish how maternity care was organised. Women's experience of information, choice, control and resource use obtained by questionnaire mailed 4 weeks post-partum. Data were analysed using multi-level modelling to adjust for case-mix differences. After two reminders, 1957 women (62%) responded to the questionnaire (inter-practice range 52-81%). There were no significant differences in women's experience of care or their resource use between commissioning and non-commissioning practices. Commissioning practices were more likely to be associated with more vertically integrated models of service organisation, but responses to only three of 21 questions about experience of information, choice and control over care, or about resource use, differed between the four models of service organisation identified. The expectation that giving primary care organisations responsibility for commissioning care will result in improved patients' experiences of care or better use of resources should be treated with caution. The presence of strong national policy may be equally important. Models of service organisation are not proxies for quality of care. The most powerful force shaping patients' experiences of care may be health care professionals' ability to translate national policy into local services.Journal of Health Services Research & Policy 05/2001; 6(2):99-104. · 1.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine patients' preferences for a shared or directed style of consultation in the decision making part of the general practice consultation. Structured interview, with video vignettes of acted consultations. 5 practices in Lothian, Scotland. 410 patients (adults and adults accompanying children) attending surgery appointments. Preference for shared or directed form of video vignette for five different presenting conditions. Patients varied in their preference for involvement in decision making in the consultation. Under multiple regression analysis, patients' preference was found to be independently predicted by the problem viewed (patients presented with physical problems preferred a directed approach), patients' age (patients aged 61 or older were more likely to prefer the directed approach), social class (social classes I and II were more likely to prefer the shared approach), and smoking status (smokers more likely to prefer the shared approach). Those patients who were able to answer (or who thought their doctor's style similar to those in the vignettes) were more likely to describe their own doctor's style as similar to their preferred style. No major association in preference was found with sex, frequency of attendance, or perceived chronic ill health. Patients may vary in their desire for involvement in decision making in consultations. Although this variation seems to depend on the presenting problem, age, social class, and smoking status, these associations are not absolute, with large minorities in each group. Doctors need the skills, knowledge of their patients, and the time to determine on which occasions, with which illnesses, and at which level their patients wish to be involved in decision making.BMJ 11/2000; 321(7265):867-71. · 14.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A number of authors have developed sets of role descriptions that have been used to classify patients' roles in decisions about their health care as either active, collaborative or passive. We explored the validity of two such measures. Twenty women who had recently had a hysterectomy described their experiences of treatment decision-making in their own words and picked role descriptions from the Control Preferences Scale (Degner, Sloan, J. Clin. Epidemiol. 45 (1992) 941) and Patient Preferences for Control measure (Bradley et al.. Fam. Med. 28 (1996) 496), both phrased in the past tense to assess roles played. The women explained why they had picked particular role descriptions. We compared the women's selections from the two measures and considered the relationship between their narrative descriptions and the role descriptors they picked. Several women found it hard to find an appropriate role description among those they were offered. Some picked apparently conflicting statements from the two measures. The role classifications that would be made on the basis of the women's chosen role descriptions did not always seem appropriate when compared with their narrative descriptions of how treatment decisions were reached. Women gave a range of explanations for choosing the role descriptors that they did, and some women who picked different role descriptions gave similar explanations for doing so. These findings suggest that there are problems with the validity of some currently used measures of patients' participation in health care decision-making. Researchers need to pay more attention to the key features of participation in decision-making and develop measures that can distinguish between these.Social Science [?] Medicine 10/2001; 53(6):721-32. · 2.73 Impact Factor