Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: To review trials of the effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving communication between health professionals and women in maternity care. SEARCH STRATEGY: The electronic databases Medline, PsycLit, The Cochrane Library, BIDS Science and Social Science Indexes, Cinahl and Embase were searched. Final searches were carried out in April 2000. INCLUSION CRITERIA: Controlled trials of interventions explicitly aimed at improving communication between health professionals and women in maternity care were included. Other trials were included where two reviewers agreed that this was at least part of the aim. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: 95 potentially eligible papers were identified, read by one reviewer and checked against the inclusion criteria. The 11 included trials were read, assessed for quality and summarized in a structured tabular form. RESULTS: The included trials evaluated interventions to improve the presentation of information about antenatal testing, to promote informed choice in maternity care, woman-held maternity records and computer-based history taking. Four trials in which women were provided with extra information about antenatal testing in a variety of formats suggested that this was valued by women and may reduce anxiety. Communication skills training for midwives and doctors improved their information giving about antenatal tests. The three trials of woman-held maternity records suggested that these increase women's involvement in and control over their care. CONCLUSIONS: The trials identified by this review addressed limited aspects of communication and focused solely on antenatal care. Further research is required in several areas, including trials of communication skills training for health professionals in maternity care and other interventions to improve communication during labour and in the postnatal period.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Health Expect

Publication Date

03/2002

Volume

5

Pages

63 - 83

Keywords

Communication, Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic, Female, Health Services Research, Humans, Maternal Health Services, Pregnancy, Professional-Patient Relations, United Kingdom