Women from refugee backgrounds and their experiences of attending a specialist antenatal clinic : narratives from an Australian setting

Stapleton, Helen, Murphy, Rebecca, Correa-Velez, Ignacio, Steel, Michelle, & Kildea, Sue (2013) Women from refugee backgrounds and their experiences of attending a specialist antenatal clinic : narratives from an Australian setting. Women and Birth, 26(4), pp. 260-266.

View at publisher



In response to an identified need, a specialist antenatal clinic for women from refugee backgrounds was introduced in 2008, with an evaluation planned and completed in 2010.


Can maternity care experiences for women from refugee backgrounds, attending a specialist antenatal clinic in a tertiary Australian public hospital, be improved?


The evaluation employed mixed methods, generating qualitative and quantitative data from two hospital databases, a chart audit, surveys and interviews with service users, providers and stakeholders. Contributions were received from 202 participants.


The clinic was highly regarded by all participants. Continuity of care throughout the antenatal period was particularly valued by newly arrived women as it afforded them security and support to negotiate an unfamiliar Western maternity system. Positive experiences decreased however; as women transitioned from the clinic to labour and postnatal wards where they reported that their traditional birthing and recuperative practices were often interrupted by the imposition of Western biomedical notions of appropriate care. The centrally located clinic was problematic, frequently requiring complex travel arrangements. Appointment schedules often impacted negatively on traditional spousal and family obligations.


Providing comprehensive and culturally responsive maternity care for women from refugee backgrounds is achievable, however it is also resource intensive. The production of translated information which is high quality in terms of production and content, whilst also taking account of languages which are only rarely encountered, is problematic. Cultural competency programmes for staff, ideally online, require regular updating in light of new knowledge and changing political sensitivities.

Impact and interest:

9 citations in Scopus
8 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

36 since deposited on 26 Sep 2013
15 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 62953
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Refugees, Midwifery, Evaluation, Interpreters, Culture
DOI: 10.1016/j.wombi.2013.07.004
ISSN: 1871-5192
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Women and Birth. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Women and Birth, [Vol 26, Issue 4, (2013)] DOI: 10.1016/j.wombi.2013.07.004
Deposited On: 26 Sep 2013 22:53
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2016 17:53

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page