Perceptions of postnatal care: factors associated with primiparous mothers perceptions of postnatal communication and care.

J McLellan, A Laidlaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to determine whether personality and/or psychological functioning affect mothers’ perceptions of postnatal communication and their level of satisfaction with their postnatal care. Mothers’ perceptions of the communication with health professionals prenatally and during birth may be affected by their personality traits and psychological functioning and are linked to the level of satisfaction they have in their healthcare. Little is known about factors that are associated with perceptions of communication within postnatal care and the impact this may have on satisfaction with care.
A cross sectional survey recruited 71 first-time mothers, who had given birth vaginally in the U.K., within the previous 12 months. The questionnaire assessed personality traits using the Big 5 Mini Marker set, levels of anxiety and depression using HADS, perceptions of communication experienced with health professionals and overall levels of satisfaction with postnatal care via the Satisfaction with Care Scale. Covariates such as demographic factors were investigated.
Higher ratings of communication were found to be directly correlated with higher satisfaction, as were the personality traits; agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability. Depression significantly lowered participants’ ratings of communication experienced with health visitors and total satisfaction. Mothers who breastfed had significantly lower communication and satisfaction ratings. Multiple regression analysis revealed communication ratings explained 71.8% of the variance in the level of satisfaction and none of the remaining predictors significantly directly affected satisfaction ratings.
Future research should focus on the utility of these findings for improving care for primiparous mothers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number227
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2013


  • postnatal
  • communication
  • satisfaction with care
  • breastfeeding
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • personality


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