Clients' psychosocial communication and midwives' verbal and nonverbal communication during prenatal counseling for anomaly screening: Patient Education and Counseling

L. Martin, J. T. Gitsels-van der Wal, M. T. R. Pereboom, E.R. Spelten, E. K. Hutton, S. van Dulmen

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Objectives: This study focuses on facilitation of clients' psychosocial communication during prenatal counseling for fetal anomaly screening. We assessed how psychosocial communication by clients is related to midwives' psychosocial and affective communication, client-directed gaze and counseling duration. Methods: During 184 videotaped prenatal counseling consultations with 20 Dutch midwives, verbal psychosocial and affective behavior was measured by the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS). We rated the duration of client-directed gaze. We performed multilevel analyses to assess the relation between clients' psychosocial communication and midwives' psychosocial and affective communication, client-directed gaze and counseling duration. Results: Clients' psychosocial communication was higher if midwives' asked more psychosocial questions and showed more affective behavior (beta = 0.90; Cl: 0.45-1.35; p <0.00 and beta = 132; CI: 0.18-2.47; p = 0.025, respectively). Clients "psychosocial communication was not related to midwives" client-directed gaze. Additionally, psychosocial communication by clients was directly, positively related to the counseling duration (beta = 0.59; CI: 0.20-099; p= 0.004). Conclusions: In contrast with our expectations, midwives' client-directed gaze was not related with psychosocial communication of clients. Practice implications: In addition to asking psychosocial questions, our study shows that midwives' affective behavior and counseling duration is likely to encourage client's psychosocial communication, known to be especially important for facilitating decision-making. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NCND license (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-91
Number of pages7
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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