What women want : qualitative analysis of consumer evaluations of maternity care in Queensland, Australia

Mckinnon, Loretta C, Prosser, Samantha J, & Miller, Yvette D (2014) What women want : qualitative analysis of consumer evaluations of maternity care in Queensland, Australia. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 14(1), p. 366.

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Abstract

Background

Maternity care reform plans have been proposed at state and national levels in Australia, but the extent to which these respond to maternity care consumers’ expressed needs is unclear. This study examines open-text survey comments to identify women’s unmet needs and priorities for maternity care. It is then considered whether these needs and priorities are addressed in current reform plans.

Methods

Women who had a live single or multiple birth in Queensland, Australia, in 2010 (n 3,635) were invited to complete a retrospective self-report survey. In addition to questions about clinical and interpersonal maternity care experiences from pregnancy to postpartum, women were asked an open-ended question “Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about having your baby?” This paper describes a detailed thematic analysis of open-ended responses from a random selection of 150 women (10% of 1,510 who responded to the question).

Results

Four broad themes emerged relevant to improving women’s experiences of maternity care: quality of care (interpersonal and technical); access to choices and involvement in decision-making; unmet information needs; and dissatisfaction with the care environment. Some of these topics are reflected in current reform goals, while others provide evidence of the need for further reforms.

Conclusions

The findings reinforce the importance of some existing maternity reform objectives, and describe how these might best be met. Findings affirm the importance of information provision to enable informed choices; a goal of Queensland and national reform agendas. Improvement opportunities not currently specified in reform agendas were also identified, including the quality of interpersonal relationships between women and staff, particular unmet information needs (e.g., breastfeeding), and concerns regarding the care environment (e.g., crowding and long waiting times).

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 78038
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Hospitals, Midwifery, Postnatal care, Service improvement, Birth, Consumer participation, Evaluation, Reform
DOI: 10.1186/s12884-014-0366-2
ISSN: 1471-2393
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 2014 McKinnon et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which
permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain
Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Deposited On: 26 Oct 2014 23:11
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2014 22:40

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