The contributions of the nurse and the machine in home uterine activity monitoring systems

Ruth B. Merkatz, Irwin R. Merkatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The relative contributions of home tokodynamometry and daily nursing telephone contact to the success of preterm birth prevention programs remains a subject of debate. Because investigators have obtained conflicting data, a reinterpretation of published results was undertaken by proposing a dynamic interface between the nurse and the machine. Experience gained from the technology and the development of nursing expertise with assessment of patient symptoms are presented as interdependent factors, both of which are critical to a therapeutic nurse-patient relationship. It is proposed that this combined interactive expertise increases sensitivity to the early recognition of preterm labor. The nurse's role in providing social support to high-risk pregnant women is then identified as a potential additional independent contributing factor to reported observed reductions in preterm births. Discussion focuses on future research, public policy issues, and the need for expanding nurse-patient interactions into the home.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1159-1162
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5 PART 1
StatePublished - May 1991


  • Home uterine activity monitoring
  • preterm birth
  • preterm labor
  • tokodynamometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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