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J R Coll Gen Pract. 1986 Apr;36(285):157-60.

Maternity services: the consumer's view.


Findings are reported from a study designed to compare consumer perception of a range of maternity provision. Detailed exploratory work was followed by a pilot study and a postal survey to which 562 mothers responded. An analysis of the data indicated a strong preference for the antenatal and postnatal services provided by general practitioners or neighbourhood hospitals. Although the ratings given to all hospitals for care during labour and delivery were broadly similar, the majority of mothers would prefer a delivery under general practitioner care where considerations of safety permit. Important characteristics of the preferred services are accessibility, continuity, personalized and small-scale care, and recognition of childbirth as a life event. The desirability of retaining a range of services is discussed.

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