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What Makes for Good Collaboration and Communication in Maternity Care? A Scoping Study

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BACKGROUND: Good communication and collaboration are critical to safe care for mothers and babies.

OBJECTIVE: To identify factors associated with good collaboration and communication among maternity care professionals and between both professionals and parents.

METHOD: Scoping study. We searched PubMed and Web of Science for peer reviewed, quantitative and qualitative, original, primary research in Western societies on communication and collaboration in maternity care among professionals (Search 1) and between professionals and parents (Search 2).

FINDINGS: The 40 studies (14 in Search 1; 26 in Search 2) that met our selection criteria highlighted several factors associated with good communication and collaboration. We grouped these factors into 6 categories: Expertise, Partnership, Context, Attitude, Trust, and Communication style. Studies of communication and collaboration among professionals foregrounded work-related aspects, whereas studies examining collaboration between professionals and parents paid more attention to interpersonal aspects. Before 2012, few studies covered positive aspects of communication and collaboration. We also found an underrepresentation of parents in study populations.

CONCLUSION: Our study is part of a growing trend of identifying the positive aspects of communication and collaboration in maternity care. As the study of collaboration in practice continues, researchers need to be sure to involve all stakeholders, including parents.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2015

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