The performance of nurses and midwives in postpartum units can influence maternal health as
well as infant survival. This study assessed factors influencing the performance of nurses and
midwives working in the postpartum units in two public hospitals in Rwanda.
Ninety-six nurses and midwives were observed while providing postpartum care according to a
checklist comprising 30 activities. Each observed nurse and midwife was then interviewed about
the presence or absence of specific performance factors. Results were analysed to compare
average performance with the presence or absence of specific performance factors.
Nurses and midwives performed poorly in the use of guidelines for postpartum care management.
Factors that were associated with good performance included receiving feedback about job
performance, training in postpartum care management and in the use of the postpartum
guidelines, satisfaction with the work organisation, and organisational interest in staff members’
creativity. Training and postpartum guidelines for staff members, aimed at reducing postpartum morbidity
and mortality rates, should be planned in light of the factors that most directly affect the quality
of care provided by nurses and midwives. Further analyses of factors contributing to good or
poor performance are required.