Objective: in 1989 a Dutch national guideline on (imminent) miscarriage was developed for use in general practice. A prospective recording study was carried out to determine how the patients evaluated the care they received from general practitioners (GPs) and midwives who agreed to adhere to this (imminent) miscarriage guideline and to determine the aspects that influence this evaluation. Setting: GP practices and midwifery practices in The Netherlands. Design: Prospective recording of appointments during 4 consecutive weeks in a diary by patients who contacted their GP or midwife with symptoms of (imminent) miscarriage. Study participants: Over a period of 12 months, 75 GPs and 43 midwives recorded all patients (n = 407) showing symptoms of (imminent) miscarriage. In total 265 patients had completed at least the first contact in the diary; 200 patients actually recorded all contacts. Results: Most patients gave their GP or midwife a high evaluation score (8.2 and 8.7 respectively). Yet, 20% thought that the care could be improved if the GP or midwife gave more information, was more empathetic and carried out an ultrasound scan. In determining the aspects that have most influence on the patients' evaluation, empathy and support came first, followed by involvement of the patient in decision making, putting her at ease, and the total duration of the contacts. Although patients who wanted a referral gave a lower score, this seems to be of less importance than the above mentioned aspects. Expecting and getting an ultrasound scan did not influence the patient's evaluation.
- (Imminent) miscarriage
- General practitioners