Thursday, July 12, 2007
This presentation is part of : Issues in Women's Health
Labor Support Assessment
Mary Reid Nichols, PhD, RN, FNP, Family Nursing Department, Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, Hyden, KY, USA and Nena R. Harris, MSN, CNM, FNP, Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, University of NC, Hyden, KY, USA.
Learning Objective #1: The learner will be able to describe how the TLSI measures labor support.
Learning Objective #2: The learner will be able to describe how the TLSI can be used in the cliniucal setting.

Labor Support Assessment Continuous labor support has a number of benefits with minimal to no risks. The presence of the woman’s partner or significant other during labor and birth provides support, encouragement and reassurance, as well as advocacy. Further, labor support should be assessed by the clinician for its quality and effectiveness. The purpose of this paper is to present a data-based assessment tool, the Therapeutic Labor Support Inventory (TLSI), designed to measure continuous labor support and is based on a checklist used to measure paternal childbirth involvement (PCI) behaviors in a larger study. The McCubbin & McCubbin Model of Stress and Coping provided the theoretical framework for the development of the TLSI. Quantitative and qualitative data were obtained from 106 married, first time fathers in a larger, longitudinal, mixed methods study that examined the relationships among variables associated with adjustment to new parenthood: prenatal (demographic, psychosocial), intrapartal (paternal childbirth involvement, childbirth satisfaction) and postpartum (parenting sense of competence, ease of role transition). Results suggested that paternal childbirth involvement theoretically and operationally defines continuous labor support. PCI was positively linked to marital satisfaction and prenatal attachment in mothers and fathers and also positively correlated to maternal and paternal childbirth satisfaction, parenting competence and ease of transition to parenthood. Qualitative data revealed that the vast majority of fathers felt “just being there” was most helpful to their wives during labor and delivery. Based on the empirical data and from further review of the literature, the TLSI was developed. The TLSI can be utilized in the clinical setting as an intervention to assess and promote continuous labor support. Further research is needed that focuses on laboring women and those who support them during labor and delivery, and additional data is needed to further refine, test, and implement the TLSI.