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Women’s maternity care needs and related service models in rural: A comprehensive systematic review of qualitative evidence


Hoang, H and Le, Q and Ogden, K, Women's maternity care needs and related service models in rural: A comprehensive systematic review of qualitative evidence, Women and Birth, 27 pp. 233-241. ISSN 1871-5192 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Australian College of Midwives

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.wombi.2014.06.005


Background: Understanding the needs of rural women in maternity care and service models available to them is significant for the development of effective policies and the sustainability of rural communities. Nevertheless, no systematic review of studies addressing these needs has been conducted.

Objectives: To synthesise the best available evidence on the experiences of women’s needs in maternity care and existing service models in rural areas.

Methods: Literature search of ten electronic databases, digital theses, and reference lists of relevant studies applying inclusion/exclusion criteria was conducted. Selected papers were assessed using standardised critical appraisal instruments from JBI-QARI. Data extracted from these studies were synthesised using thematic synthesis.

Findings: 12 studies met the inclusion criteria. There were three main themes and several sub-themes identified. A comprehensive set of the maternity care expectations of rural women was reported in this review including safety (7), continuity of care (6) and quality of care (6), and informed choices needs (4). In addition, challenges in accessing maternity services also emerged from the literature such as access (6), risk of travelling (9) and associated cost of travel (9). Four models of maternity care examined in the literature were medically led care (5), GP-led care (4), midwifery-led care (7) and home birth (6).

Conclusion: The systematic review demonstrates the importance of including well-conducted qualitative studies in informing the development of evidence-based policies to address women’s maternity care needs and inform service models. Synthesising the findings from qualitative studies offers important insight for informing effective public health policy.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:maternity care, maternity and service quality, maternity services, rural areas, models of care
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Rural and remote area health
UTAS Author:Hoang, H (Dr Ha Hoang)
UTAS Author:Le, Q (Dr Quynh Le)
UTAS Author:Ogden, K (Dr Kathryn Ogden)
ID Code:93448
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2014-08-04
Last Modified:2017-11-03

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