The quality of childbirth care in China: women’s voices: a qualitative study

Article English OPEN
Raven, Joanna ; van den Broek, Nynke ; Tao, Fangbiao ; Kun, Huang ; Tolhurst, Rachel (2015)
  • Publisher: BioMed Central
  • Journal: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, volume 15 (eissn: 1471-2393)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC4457993, doi: 10.1186/s12884-015-0545-9
  • Subject: wq_160 | Research Article | China | wq_415 | Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Childbirth | wa_395 | User perspectives | Quality of care | wa_310 | wq_175

Background In the context of improved utilisation of health care and outcomes, rapid socio-economic development and health system reform in China, it is timely to consider the quality of services. Data on quality of maternal health care as experienced by women is limited. This study explores women’s expectations and experiences of the quality of childbirth care in rural China. Methods Thirty five semi-structured interviews and five focus group discussions were conducted with 69 women who had delivered in the past 12 months in hospitals in a rural County in Anhui Province. Data were transcribed, translated and analysed using the framework approach. Results Hospital delivery was preferred because it was considered safe. Home delivery was uncommon and unsupported by the health system. Expectations such as having skilled providers and privacy during childbirth were met. However, most women reported lack of cleanliness, companionship during labour, pain relief, and opportunity to participate in decision making as poor aspects of care. Absence of pain relief is one reason why women may opt for a caesarean section. Conclusions These findings illustrate that to improve quality of care it is crucial to build accountability and communication between providers, women and their families. Ensuring women’s participation in decision making needs to be addressed. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12884-015-0545-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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