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J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2010 Dec;31(4):243-51. doi: 10.3109/0167482X.2010.527400.

Differences in preferences for obstetric care between nulliparae and their partners in the Netherlands: a discrete-choice experiment.

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Research Department Midwifery Science, Zuyd University, Faculty of midwifery education & studies, Universiteitssingel 60, Maastricht 6229 ER, The Netherlands.



In the Netherlands, in low-risk pregnancies, the views of pregnant women and their partners on characteristics of obstetric care services are leading for the selection of place of birth. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there are differences between the decision-making process of pregnant women and their partners with regard to these attributes of obstetric care.


This study was a prospective cohort study with low-risk nulliparae and their partners. A questionnaire, based on the method of discrete-choice experiment, was used to gather the data.


Possibility of influencing decision-making was, both for pregnant women (nā€Š=ā€Š321) and their partners (nā€Š=ā€Š212), the most important characteristic of the obstetric care. For women, a home-like birth setting was an important characteristic, while the partners found the possibility on pain-relief treatment during birth important.


The results of this study suggest that women and their partners have clearly defined preferences for obstetric care. There are also some essential differences between the preferences of these two groups. The findings are important where policy issues related to aspects of maternity care service delivery are being considered.

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