Measuring respect and autonomy in Dutch maternity care: Applicability of two measures

E. I. Feijen-de Jong, M. van der Pijl, S. Vedam, D. E. M. C. Jansen, L. L. Peters

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Problem: In the Netherlands there are no valid measurement tools available to measure respectful maternity care and women's autonomy. Background: Respectful maternity care including women's autonomy during childbirth are key components of high quality care. Aim: This study aims to evaluate the applicability of the Canadian measures; the Mothers Autonomy in Decision Making (MADM) scale and the Mothers on Respect index (MORi) measures among pregnant women in the Netherlands. Methods: We translated the measures MORi and MADM according to the WHO guidelines, adapted them to the Dutch health care system, evaluated their psychometric properties, and pilot tested before administration through an online cross-sectional survey. We assessed feasibility by calculating descriptive statistics on scores, and reliability by calculating Cronbach's alpha. The construct validity was measured by hypotheses on differences between subgroups based on maternal characteristics, pregnancy characteristics and healthcare provision. Findings: Of 557 women included in the study, 83% experienced high respect and 62% experienced high autonomy. Both the MORi and MADM showed feasibility, internal consistency, and with respect to construct validity, both measures discriminated between type of care provision. Compared to women with pregnancy complications, those with a healthy pregnancy reported statistically higher MORi-scores. No differences were observed on MADM-scores. Discussion: Both instruments can be used as quality of care measures aiming to improve care and thus experiences of women. Conclusion: The results of this study support the feasibility, reliability, and to a certain extent known group validity of the Dutch MORi and MADM measures in pregnant women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e447-e454
JournalWomen and birth
Issue number5
Early online dateNov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Autonomy
  • Decision-making
  • Maternity care
  • Psychometric evaluation
  • Respectful care

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