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Midwifery. 1998 Jun;14(2):85-93.

Satisfaction with midwife-managed care in different time periods: a randomised controlled trial of 1299 women.

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  • 1Department of Public Health (Women's Health), Greater Glasgow Health Board, UK.



To compare women's satisfaction with midwife-managed care with 'shared care' over three different time periods.


Randomised controlled trial.


Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital, Glasgow, UK.


1299 women experiencing normal pregnancy (consent rate: 82%). Six hundred and forty-eight women were randomised to midwife-managed care and 651 to 'shared care'.


Three self-report questionnaires were sent to women's homes. The questionnaires examined: satisfaction with antenatal care at 34-35 weeks' gestation, and satisfaction with intrapartum, hospital- and home-based postnatal care at seven weeks postnatally. The third questionnaire reviewed satisfaction with intrapartum care seven months after delivery.


Women in both groups were satisfied. However, women in the midwife-managed group were more highly satisfied in relation to the dimensions examined: relationships with staff, information transfer, choices and decisions, and social support. The differences between the two groups were evident for all time periods (i.e. antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal periods) and were sustained at seven-month follow-up. This is illustrated in the mean scores for relationships with staff, as measured at 34-35 weeks' gestation (possible range -2; very negative attitudes to 2; very positive attitudes). Women in the midwife-managed group scored a mean of 1.22 compared to 0.74 for the 'shared care' group (mean diff: 0.48; 95% CI: 0.42 to 0.55). While women in both groups were more likely to make positive rather than negative comments in open-ended questions, the midwife-managed group were more likely to make positive comments whereas the 'shared care' group were more likely to make negative comments.


Midwife-managed care for healthy pregnant women which is integrated into existing services improves satisfaction with antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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