Women's experience with early labour management at home vs. in hospital: a randomised controlled trial

Midwifery. 2013 Mar;29(3):190-4. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2012.05.011. Epub 2012 Aug 15.


Objective: to compare experiences with early labour assessment and support at home vs. by telephone.

Design: a randomised controlled trial of nurse home visits vs. telephone support for assessment and support of women in early labour.

Setting: hospitals serving obstetrical populations in metropolitan and suburban Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Participants: healthy nulliparous women in labour at term with uncomplicated pregnancies participating in the third and fourth year of the trial.

Intervention: women were randomised to receive early labour assessment and support at home (n=241) and or to receive assessment and support by telephone (n=182).

Measurement: the Early Labour Experience Questionnaire (ELEQ), a 26-item self-administered questionnaire that measures women's experience with early labour care across three domains: emotional well-being, emotional distress and perceptions of nursing care.

Findings: women who received home visits rated their early labour experience more positively overall compared to women who received telephone support (103.14 ± 12.45 vs. 99.67 ± 13.11, p<.01)including perceptions of nursing care that they received (38.64 ± 2.90 vs. 36.82 ± 4.09, p<.001). However, women's affective experiences did not differ.

Key conclusions: early labour nursing care provided at home is associated with a more positive experience of early labour compared to telephone support.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affective Symptoms* / diagnosis
  • Affective Symptoms* / etiology
  • British Columbia
  • Comparative Effectiveness Research
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Hotlines*
  • House Calls*
  • Humans
  • Labor, Obstetric / psychology
  • Nursing Assessment* / methods
  • Nursing Assessment* / standards
  • Parity
  • Patient Preference / psychology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women / psychology*
  • Self Report
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires