NWH: Implementing a Respectful Maternity Care Guideline During Childbirth Experiences

Implementing a Respectful Maternity Care Guideline During Childbirth Experiences



To measure the impact of an evidence-based guideline on respectful maternity care on nurses’ attitudes and beliefs about childbirth practices.


A quality improvement pilot project with a pretest/posttest design examining the attitudes and beliefs of intrapartum nurses about childbirth practices of respectful care.


High-risk intrapartum unit at a tertiary care center in the southeastern United States.


A convenience sample of 130 registered nurses were invited to participate, and nine completed the pre- and posttests.


The intervention included a recorded webinar, access to printed and electronic copies of the guideline, discussions in daily huddles, and a virtual journal club. Data were collected using the 42-item Nurse Attitudes and Beliefs Questionnaire–Revised. Lower scores are reflective of attitudes and beliefs that support a medical model of care, whereas higher scores are reflective of a physiologic model of care. Descriptive statistics and the Wilcoxon signed rank test were used to analyze changes in attitudes and beliefs based on the aggregate scores of the nurse participants.


Although there was no change in nurse attitude and beliefs about childbirth practices after 3 months (p = .058), the aggregate scores on a scale of 42 to 168 increased by 5.6 points. Two subscales of the Nurse Attitudes and Beliefs Questionnaire–Revised—Medical Model of Conflict and Women’s Autonomy—had the greatest increase in aggregate scores.


Understanding nurses’ attitudes and beliefs can assist in identifying barriers to the provision of respectful care, particularly during labor and birth, when patients are most vulnerable. Measurement of nurse attitudes and beliefs regarding respectful maternity care may require a longer immersion in a respectful maternity care program to allow for changes over time.