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Does Women's Contribution to Co-Constructed Handheld Maternity Records Support Patient-Centered Care?

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BACKGROUND: The Scottish Women's Handheld Maternity Record (SWHMR) contains an innovative element of co-construction by inviting women to write in their notes. It aims to support communication and patient-centered care (PCC). The study aims were (a) to describe women's contribution to the SWHMR, (b) compare the characteristics of women who do/do not contribute, and (c) assess the influence of women's contributions on their care.

METHODS: An exploratory study using mixed methods approach extracted data from a series of 300 casenotes. Women's contributions were analyzed by sociodemographic and clinical characteristics using descriptive statistics. Content analysis was used to identify themes within women's written text.

RESULTS: Women were more likely to contribute to sections about personal details, health-life style than birth preferences/management. Primiparous, women residing in urban areas or receiving midwifeled care were more likely to contribute. Only half of the women who expressed their preferences for birth were judged to have been met. Most of women's contributions mapped to PCC's domains and other emerging themes were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: Women's contribution to the SWHMR varied widely and substantial groups of women may be disadvantaged. Co-constructed handheld records need further evaluation to ensure that they do support communication and PCC.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-06-01

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  • The International Journal of Childbirth is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal publishing original research, reviews, and case studies concerned with the practice of midwifery, women's health, prenatal care, and the birth process. The journal encourages the exploration of the complex and contextual issues surrounding childbirth provision and outcomes and invites manuscripts from a wide range of clinical, theoretical, political, methodological, psychological, public health, policy, and multicultural and interdisciplinary perspectives.
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