Timing of the initiation of antenatal care: An exploratory qualitative study of women and service providers in East London
Hatherall, B., Morris, Joanne, Jamal, Farah, Sweeney, Lorna, Wiggins, Meg, Kaur, Inderjeet, Renton, Adrian and Harden, A. 2016. Timing of the initiation of antenatal care: An exploratory qualitative study of women and service providers in East London. Midwifery. 36, pp. 1-7.
|Authors||Hatherall, B., Morris, Joanne, Jamal, Farah, Sweeney, Lorna, Wiggins, Meg, Kaur, Inderjeet, Renton, Adrian and Harden, A.|
to explore the factors which influence the timing of the initiation of a package of publically-funded antenatal care for pregnant women living in a diverse urban setting
a qualitative study involving thematic analysis of 21 individual interviews and six focus group discussions.
Newham, a culturally diverse borough in East London, UK
individual interviews were conducted with 21 pregnant and postnatal women and focus group discussions were conducted with a total of 26 health service staff members(midwives and bilingual health advocates) and 32 women from four community groups (Bangladeshi, Somali, Lithuanian and Polish).
initial care-seeking by pregnant women is influenced by the perception that the package of antenatal care offered by the National Health Service is for viable and continuing pregnancies, as well as little perceived urgency in initiating antenatal care. This is particularly true when set against competing responsibilities and commitments in women’s lives and for pregnancies with no apparent complications or disconcerting symptoms. Barriers to access to this package of antenatal care include difficulties in navigating the health service and referral system, which are compounded for women unable to speak English, and service provider delays in the processing of referrals. Accessing antenatal care was sometimes equated with relinquishing control, particularly for young women and women for whom language barriers prohibit active engagement with care.
if women are to be encouraged to seek antenatal care from maternity services early in pregnancy, the purpose and value to all women of doing so need to be made clear across the communities in which they live. As a woman may need time to accept her pregnancy and address other priorities in her life before seeking antenatal care, it is crucial that once she does decide to seek such care, access is quick and easy. Difficulties found in navigating the system of referral for antenatal care point to a need for improved access to primary care and a simple and efficient process of direct referral to antenatal care, alongside the delivery of antenatal care which is woman-centred and experienced as empowering.
|Journal citation||36, pp. 1-7|
|Web address (URL)||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2016.02.017|
|04 Mar 2016|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||16 Mar 2016|
|Accepted||23 Feb 2016|
|Funder||National Institute for Health Research|
|National Institute for Health Research|
|Copyright information||© 2016 Elsevier. Open Access funded by Department of Health UK. Under a Creative Commons license|
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