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This article is part of the supplement: Preterm Birth - Interdisciplinary research from the Preterm Birth and Healthy Outcomes Team (PreHOT)

Open Access Research

A qualitative study of the experience of CenteringPregnancy group prenatal care for physicians

Deborah A McNeil12*, Monica Vekved13, Siobhan M Dolan4, Jodi Siever1, Sarah Horn13 and Suzanne C Tough35

Author affiliations

1 Public Health Innovation and Decision Support, Population and Public Health, Alberta Health Services, 10101 Southport Rd SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2W 3N2, Canada

2 Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada

3 Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, Alberta, T3B 6A8, Canada

4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University & Montefiore Medical Center, Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, New York, 10461, USA

5 Department Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 4Z6, Canada

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Citation and License

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2013, 13(Suppl 1):S6  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-S1-S6

Published: 31 January 2013



This study sought to understand the central meaning of the experience of group prenatal care for physicians who were involved in providing CenteringPregnancy through a maternity clinic in Calgary, Canada.


The study followed the phenomenological qualitative tradition. Three physicians involved in group prenatal care participated in a one-on-one interview between November and December 2009. Two physicians participated in verification sessions. Interviews followed an open ended general guide and were audio recorded and transcribed. The purpose of the analysis was to identify meaning themes and the core meaning experienced by the physicians.


Six themes emerged: (1) having a greater exchange of information, (2) getting to knowing, (3) seeing women get to know and support each other, (4) sharing ownership of care, (5) having more time, and (6) experiencing enjoyment and satisfaction in providing care. These themes contributed to the core meaning for physicians of “providing richer care.”


Physicians perceived providing better care and a better professional experience through CenteringPregnancy compared to their experience of individual prenatal care. Thus, CenteringPregnancy could improve work place satisfaction, increase retention of providers in maternity care, and improve health care for women.