Perspectives on communication in labor and delivery: A focus group analysis

W. A. Grobman, J. Holl, D. Woods, K. M. Gleason, B. Wassilak, M. K. Szekendi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to elicit and explore perceptions of barriers to optimal communication among clinicians on a labor and delivery unit, and to use this information to select and design approaches to improve communication. Study Design: A qualitative research design using a focus group format was utilized. Attending and resident obstetricians and anesthesiologists, as well as staff nurses, pharmacists and unit secretaries participated in the focus groups, which were recorded and transcribed. Data were analyzed using a framework analysis approach. Result: In total, 18 focus groups with a total of 92 participants were conducted. Eight key themes emerged regarding specific barriers to effective communication among clinicians in the labor and delivery setting. The most prominent of these themes included issues with inter-departmental coordination, clinical accessibility (the ability to reach other clinicians), lack of a consistent approach for clinical documentation, and the involvement of multiple care providers. On the basis of these themes, multiple interventions were designed to enhance communication. Conclusion: Focus group methodology can be used to elicit a detailed description of communication practices of clinicians on a labor and delivery unit, permitting an exploration of specific barriers to communication and the identification of potential solutions to those barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-245
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • communication
  • focus groups
  • obstetrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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