On-line version ISSN 0379-8577
'Woman-centred care' in childbirth is a process in which a woman makes choices and is involved in and has control over her care and relationship with her midwife. The aim of this paper is to study the concept of woman-centred care through analysis in the context of childbirth. The attributes, antecedents and consequences of this concept are identified, and a model case, a borderline case and a contrary case constructed to achieve conceptual clarity. A concept analysis was undertaken as described by Walker and Avant (2011), with an extensive exploration of domain-specific literature and evidence from various disciplines. It was established from the concept analysis that 'woman-centred care' was complex and experienced individualistically. The analysis indicated that mothers' participation is supposed to be based on a more collaborative relationship and partnership. Participation is exhibited by open communication and the mother's involvement in decision-making, consultation and collaboration with the attending midwife, further characterised by mutual respect and the midwife listening to the mother's views. There is also an exchange of complete and unbiased information, recognition and honouring of cultural diversity and making of informed choices. Through an inductive discovery approach and drawing on inferences, attributes were clustered in an attempt to identify the apparent essence of the concept. From the results of the concept analysis described in this study, the researchers recommend the formulation of criteria that could facilitate implementation and evaluation of woman-centred care and its empirical referents in the context of the Batho Pele principles (Part 2).