Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 684–691 | Cite as

Prenatal Care and Delivery Room Staff Attitudes Toward Research and The National Children’s Study

  • Lanay M. Mudd
  • Xinh Pham
  • Sarah Nechuta
  • Michael R. Elliott
  • James M. Lepkowski
  • Nigel Paneth
  • Michigan Alliance for the National Children’s Study


Objectives The cooperation of healthcare personnel is essential for implementing clinical research, yet little is known about the willingness of staff to facilitate research. This study assessed attitudes of prenatal clinic and delivery room (DR) staff toward facilitation of research, with a particular focus on the National Children’s Study (NCS). Methods Staff from seven sampled prenatal clinics (N = 82) and all three DRs in Kent County, MI (N = 169) completed anonymous surveys assessing willingness to recruit patients (clinic) or collect biological specimens (DR), desired incentives, and barriers to research in general and the NCS specifically. Results Clinic staff included 36 office workers, 29 nurses, 11 medical assistants and 6 physicians/physician assistants. DR staff included 127 nurses, 19 support staff, 11 physicians and 10 technicians. Clinic staff would hand out brochures (72%) and describe studies (65%), but only 44% wanted outside research staff to recruit patients. Non-White staff were 4.1 times more likely (95% CI. 1.2–14.1) to permit outside staff to recruit. DR staff would collect placentas (84%) and cord blood (77%), and preferred DR staff to perform the collections. In both settings, financial incentives were not required or were modest. Lack of time was the most reported research barrier, followed by patient flow and lack of space. A small fraction of healthcare workers reported refusal to facilitate research tasks. Conclusions Careful planning of research with all clinic and DR staff will be necessary for successful execution of the NCS or other large-scale clinical research studies.


Healthcare staff Research participation Recruitment Biological samples Barriers 



The authors would like to thank the staff members at participating clinics and hospitals for their cooperation, as well as Brian Hartl, Barb Hawkins-Palmer, and other staff at the Kent County Health Department, the Grand Rapids Medical Education Research Center, and Brian Lamoreaux for assistance in planning and implementing the study. We would also like to acknowledge the MANCS Steering Committee which included, at the time this study was performed, Jan Bokemeier, Naomi Breslau, H. Dele Davies, and Nigel Paneth from Michigan State University; Valerie Castle, Michael Elliot, Timothy Johnson, Daniel Keating, and James Lepkowski from the University of Michigan; Charles Barone, Christine Johnson, and Christine Joseph from Henry Ford Health System; Virginia Delaney-Black, William Lyman, Hilary Ratner, Robert Sokol, Bonita Stanton, and Daniel Waltz from Wayne State University; Lori Cameron, Violanda Grigorescu, and Doug Paterson from Michigan Department of Community Health, and Health Officers/Medical Directors from Grand Traverse County (Frederick Keeslar), Lenawee County (R. Michael Knight), Genesee County (Robert Pestronk), Macomb County (Kevin Lokar), and Wayne County (Kathy Urbats, Anahid Kulwicki). Funding for this study was provided by the Henry Ford Health System, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lanay M. Mudd
    • 1
  • Xinh Pham
    • 1
  • Sarah Nechuta
    • 1
  • Michael R. Elliott
    • 2
  • James M. Lepkowski
    • 3
  • Nigel Paneth
    • 1
  • Michigan Alliance for the National Children’s Study
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Survey Methodology Program, Department of BiostatisticsSchool of Public Health, University of Michigan Institute for Social ResearchAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiostatisticsSchool of Public Health, University of Michigan Institute for Social ResearchAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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