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‘Naming and faming’ maternity care providers: A mixed-methods study

Kuipers, Yvonne; De Bock, Vanessa; Van de Craen, Natacha; Bosmans, Valerie


Vanessa De Bock

Natacha Van de Craen

Valerie Bosmans


Background: Positive benchmarking can serve as a catalyst for maternity care improvement.

Aim: To retrospectively benchmark Flemish maternity care providers’ qualities, based on women’s positive care experiences, and to explore which attributes of the different care providers contribute to these experiences.

Methods: A sequential, two-phased mixed-methods study benchmarking the qualities of the community midwife, the hospital midwife, and the obstetrician. An online questionnaire was used to collect the data among pregnant and postpartum women, who rated their care experiences with the various care providers using the Net Promoter Score. Non-parametric and post hoc tests established the differences between types of clinicians and between antenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum Net Promoter Score mean scores. Content analysis was used to construct a final pool of keywords representing attributes of care professionals, accumulated from the promoters’ free text responses. Ranks were assigned to each keyword based on its frequency.

Findings: A total of 2385 Net Promoter Scale scores and 1856 free-text responses of 1587 responders were included. The community midwife received the overall highest NPS scores (p < .001). The promoters (n = 1015) assigned community midwives the highest NPS scores (9.67), followed by obstetricians (9.57) and hospital-based
midwives (9.51). The distinct benchmarking attributes of community midwives were availability (p < .001), supportiveness (p = .04) and personalised care (p < .001). Being honest (p < .001), empathic (p < .001) and inexhaustible (p = .04) benchmarked hospital midwives. Calmness (p < .001), a no-nonsense approach (p <.001), being humane (p = .01) and comforting (p = .02) benchmarked obstetricians.

Discussion/Conclusion: The findings indicate that all care providers are highly valued, but community midwives are ranked the highest. The distinct differences between the care professionals can serve as exemplary performance for professional development and shape the profiles of maternity care professionals.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 20, 2023
Online Publication Date Dec 24, 2023
Publication Date 2024-03
Deposit Date Dec 28, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 4, 2024
Journal Midwifery
Print ISSN 0266-6138
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 130
Pages 103912
Keywords Benchmarking healthcare; Midwifery; Obstetricians; Patient experience; Personal satisfaction; Quality indicators healthcare
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