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Single Room Maternity Care and Client Satisfaction

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Background: Single room maternity care is the provision of intrapartum and postpartum care in a single room. It promotes a philosophy of family centered care in which one nurse cares for the family consistently throughout the intrapartum and postpartum periods. At B.C. Women's Hospital, a tertiary level obstetric teaching hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, a seven-bed, single room maternity care unit was developed and opened as a demonstration project. As part of the evaluation of this unit, client satisfaction was compared between women enrolled in single room maternity care and those in a traditional setting. Method: The study group included 205 women who were admitted to the single room maternity care unit after meeting the low-risk criteria. Their responses on a satisfaction survey were compared with those of a historical comparison group of 221 women meeting the same eligibility criteria who were identified through chart audits 3 months before the single room maternity care unit was opened. A second, concurrent comparison group comprised 104 women who also met eligibility criteria. Results: Study group women were more satisfied than comparison groups in all areas evaluated, including provision of information and support, physical environment, nursing care, patient education, assistance with infant feeding, respect for privacy, and preparation for discharge. Conclusions: Single room maternity care was associated with a significant improvement in client satisfaction because of many factors, including the physical setting itself, avoidance of transfers, and improved continuity of nursing care.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2000


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