Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Nurses' Own Birth Experiences Influence Labor Support Attitudes and Behaviors. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs 2016;45(4):491-501



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-84977150525 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   17 Citations


OBJECTIVE: To describe the attitudes of intrapartum nurses about the importance of and intent to provide professional labor support (PLS); barriers to PLS, such as perceived subjective norms and perceived behavioral control; and relationships among attitudes, behaviors, and nurse and site characteristics.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional, mixed-methods, descriptive design was guided by the Theory of Planned Behavior.

SETTING: Three hospital sites in one region of a single Midwestern state.

PARTICIPANTS: Sixty intrapartum nurses participated.

METHODS: The Labor Support Questionnaire and demographic questionnaire were administered online. The Labor Support Questionnaire is used to measure attitudes about the importance of and intended behaviors associated with labor support.

RESULTS: Nurse Caring Behaviors was the highest rated PLS dimension. Participants' own personal birth experiences and length of current intrapartum experience were positively correlated with attitudes about and intent to provide PLS. Barriers to PLS included staffing, documentation, physicians, use of epidural analgesia, doulas, and birth plans.

CONCLUSION: Personal birth and work experience influenced attitudes about and intent to provide PLS and demonstrated the relationships described in the Theory of Planned Behavior. Intrapartum nurses may benefit from an examination of their personal experiences to see how they might influence attitudes about PLS. Enhanced training and expanded labor and birth experience for novice nurses or students may improve attitudes and intended behavior with regard to PLS. Further investigations of the factors that affect integration of PLS into care are important to promote healthy birth outcomes.

Author List

Aschenbrenner AP, Hanson L, Johnson TS, Kelber ST


Teresa Johnson PhD Associate Professor in the Nursing department at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Delivery, Obstetric
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Labor, Obstetric
Neonatal Nursing
Nurse's Role
Nurse-Patient Relations
Nursing Staff, Hospital
Pregnancy Outcome
Young Adult