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Experienced job autonomy among maternity care professionals in The Netherlands.

Perdok, H., Cronie, D., Speld, C. van der, Dillen, J. van, Jonge, A. de, Rijnders, M., Graaf, J. de, Schellevis, F., Verhoeven, C. Experienced job autonomy among maternity care professionals in The Netherlands. Midwifery: 2017, 54, 67-72
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Objective
High levels of experienced job autonomy are found to be beneficial for healthcare professionals and for the relationship with their patients. The aim of this study was to assess how maternity care professionals in the Netherlands perceive their job autonomy in the Dutch maternity care system and whether they expect a new system of integrated maternity care to affect their experienced job autonomy.

Design
A cross-sectional survey. The Leiden Quality of Work Life Questionnaire was used to assess experienced job autonomy among maternity care professionals.

Setting
Data were collected in the Netherlands in 2015.

Participants
799 professionals participated of whom 362 were primary care midwives, 240 obstetricians, 93 clinical midwives and 104 obstetric nurses.

Findings
The mean score for experienced job autonomy was highest for primary care midwives, followed by obstetricians, clinical midwives and obstetric nurses. Primary care midwives scored highest in expecting to lose their job autonomy in an integrated care system.

Key conclusions
There are significant differences in experienced job autonomy between maternity care professionals.
Implications for practice: When changing the maternity care system it will be a challenge to maintain a high level of experienced job autonomy for professionals. A decrease in job autonomy could lead to a reduction in job related wellbeing and in satisfaction with care among pregnant women.