Delayed antenatal care attendance: Are providers part of the problem?
Methods: A qualitative study consisting of interviews with urban pregnant mothers and health workers was conducted during September - December 2014 exploring the reasons why women delay in accessing antenatal care. Two large tertiary care hospitals in the central and southern regions of Malawi were selected as study sites. Twenty pregnant mothers and eight health workers were recruited and interviewed.
Results: Several factors influenced a woman's decision to participate in antenatal care. Major barriers reported include clinic wait time, family and friend support, number of visits, transportation, cost and distance. However, patient-provider relationship was the primary reason stated by maternal interviewees. Mothers indicated that health workers often mistreat and demean them when they come for treatment. In addition, health workers mentioned that, due to staff shortages, patients often do not receive the care they deserve.
Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that, in addition to other factors, healthcare provider’s attitudes influence antenatal attendance. Improving the patient-provider relationship may increase antenatal attendance and decrease pregnancy complications during pregnancy. Professional development opportunities and quality improvement programs are needed to improve patient care and health outcomes while addressing the continued staff shortage in the country.
Learning Areas:Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Discuss the role of the provider during pregnancy Discuss the importance of the patient-provider relationship during pregnancy and childbirth. Identify patient-provider relationship areas for improvement.
Keyword(s): Maternal and Child Health, Prenatal Care
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I recently collected data for my dissertation research project, in the country of Malawi. The purpose of my project on perceived barriers to delayed antenatal care initiation among Malawian women builds on my long-standing interesting in serving in international communities and my training in the area of maternal and child health. My project addresses the field of health disparities evident globally, particularly as it relates to maternal-child health risk.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.