1. Hayman, Laura L. PhD, RN, FAAN

Article Content

Christiaens, W., & Bracke, P. (2007). BMCPregnancy and Childbirth, 7, 26-31.


The purpose of this study was to examine and compare multiple social and psychological determinants of satisfaction with childbirth in Belgian and Dutch women. Although Belgium and the Netherlands share a common language and political system, their healthcare systems differ. The authors characterized the Dutch system of maternity care as a midwifery model and the Belgian system as a medical model of maternity care. The sample for this cross-national study consisted of 605 women who were invited to participate by independent nurse midwives and obstetricians during antenatal visits in 2004-2005. Data were collected with self-report questionnaires during pregnancy and within the first 2 weeks of childbirth. Variables included the multidimensional nature of satisfaction with childbirth (Mackey Satisfaction with Childbirth Rating Scale), labor pain (Visual Analogue Scale), and personal control (Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire and Pearlin and Schooler's mastery scale). Hierarchical linear regression analyses were conducted, with results indicating that fulfillment of expectations for childbirth was a significant and consistent predictor of satisfaction with childbirth. Women with high self-efficacy also demonstrated more satisfaction with self-, midwife-, and physician-related aspects of the birth experience. The results suggested the multidimensionality of childbirth satisfaction; however, future cross-national comparative research is warranted. As the authors indicated, a fertile area for future research is an examination of the relationship of the determinants of childbirth satisfaction to the organization and delivery of maternity care services.


Laura L. Hayman