Trade-off between local access and safety considerations in childbirth: Rural Tasmania women's perspectives
Hoang, H and Le, Q, Trade-off between local access and safety considerations in childbirth: Rural Tasmania women's perspectives, Australian Journal of Rural Health, 20, (3) pp. 144-149. ISSN 1038-5282 (2012) [Refereed Article]
Objectives: This study investigates: (i) Tasmanian rural
women’s preferences for different models of intrapartum
care; (ii) their preferences for travel time to safe
delivery; and (iii) factors which influence these
Design: Mixed-methods study using a survey questionnaire
and semistructured interviews was adopted. A
questionnaire explored women’s preferences for different
models of care and preferred travel time. Interviews
were conducted to validate the survey results and
provide insightful information on their preferences on
the models of care. Women who have had rural childbirth
experiences from six Tasmanian rural communities
were invited to participate in the study.
Results: Two hundred and ten women completed the
questionnaire with a response rate of 35%. Twenty-two
follow-up interviews were conducted. The survey found
that women preferred to give birth in a hospital setting
to homebirth despite having to travel for two hours.
Midwifery-led care with one hour travel time was the
second preferred model of care. Women were willing to
travel to access the regional hospital but within limit.
Their preferences suggest that women have to trade-off
between local access and safety considerations. The
interviews validate the survey results. Three main
themes emerged from the interview data namely (i)
safety; (ii) distance from hospital; and (iii) type of delivery.
Their preferences were associated with their maternal
care experiences in the past.
Conclusion: In order to achieve the maternity services
that are woman centred and respond to the needs and
preferences of women, the service design and provision
should take into account these women’s preferences.