Community Health Nursing Practice


As a community health nurse, I have been conducting prenatal health classes. In the course of the teaching, I have noticed that many attendants of the classes are women over the age of 30 years who have their first pregnancy. After learning more about them, I came to know that the women have been struggling when it comes to balancing their professional careers and taking care of their children. After learning about the troubling fact, I have been thinking of adding an extra class to address this concern. I sought to use literature in order to find out the real nature of the situation to structure my lessons accordingly. As a result, I chose the research study titled ‘Changes in Maternal Characteristics in Nova Scotia, Canada from 1988 to 2001’. This essay is analyzing the study and exploring whether it is appropriate when it comes to the additional classes I am planning for the parents. After a thorough analysis of the study, the information, observation, and the conclusions from the study will be crucial in my additional class, because it will act as enlightenment for the women on the cause of the late child birth.

A Review of the Study

The study comes in the form of a cohort design, because it involves information that has been studied for a long period of time. In this case, the data was collected between 1988 and 2001 from Nova Scotia Atlee Perinatal Database (NSAPD) concerning all deliveries in Nova Scotia, Canada. The research study is focused on maternal characteristics. It also uses statistical information to come up with conclusions and recommendations. The study ensures that the information obtained from NSAPD about child delivery and the factors affecting the process is appropriate. The source is reliable, because it was ascertained by the continuing assurance studies (Fell et al., 2005).

Research Problem

The research involves all maternal cases in the province within the stated period, so there was enough population under study to come up with a credible conclusion. The research was interested in finding out the changes in maternal characteristics such as age, smoking trends, and weight before and after pregnancy. The study was aimed to confirm the current worrying trends of complications during child birth due to changes in the maternal characteristics. The analysis of the statistical data would lead to a better understanding of the recent maternal trends (Fell et al., 2005).


The study collected data from NSAPD, which is a certified institution. The measures of the above maternal characteristics are reliable and valid because the accuracy level is within the 95% level of confidence. The research could not have been under the influence of the researcher because it involved data that had already been corrected (Fell et al., 2005). The data collection and analysis process use the relevant methods such as chi-square tests to determine the linear trends.

The methods also enabled to determine the statistical significance of the maternal traits that were selected. The study was approved by ethics institutions, which proved that its process was valid. However, there were instances when some information was left out (Fell et al., 2005). Some of the deliveries had missing information, and as a result, they were not included in the statistical calculations. Some of the information that was missing includes smoking trends and the weight of the population under study (Fell et al., 2005). However, the study took care of the situation by comparing the information missing from the subjects with the already completed information by the use of chi-square tests to determine whether there would be any variations.


The study has presented its results in a clear manner, because it uses the comparison method of presentation. The results show the movement of percentages between the period and the percentage increase or decrease in the specific maternal characteristics. For example, in the issue concerning delivery by mothers aged over 35 years, the results show an increase from 7% to 12.9% over the period (Fell et al., 2005). It also shows that the relative increase was 84% with a 95% confidence interval. The results of other maternal characteristics are similar, and due to the exhaustive coverage of all the relevant information, the results and analysis become clear (Fell et al., 2005).


The discussion section explains the causes of the differentials in the maternal characteristics. For example, when the discussion states that the women in Nova Scotia have a trend of delaying child birth, the study goes on to give reasons of the trend such as lengthened education (Fell et al., 2005).

The study also ensures that it includes its strengths and weaknesses. One of the strength mentioned is that the study involved a large mass of population, thus reducing the chances of errors. The discussion section also includes the limitations in which it states the values of the smoking habits and the weights before and after the pregnancy (Fell et al., 2005). The section goes on to explain that the missing information could not have influenced the results of the research significantly, which means that the results would have remained relatively the same. Lastly, the section concludes by providing a summary of the whole study and goes on to provide a warning shot that the complications in child birth will increase in the future if necessary steps are not taken (Fell et al., 2005).