Maternity care experiences of women with physical disabilities: A systematic review
SourceMidwifery, 96, (2021), article 102938
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
OBJECTIVE: Fifteen percent of the world's population has some form of disability, the most common form being a physical disability. Ten percent of women with disabilities are of childbearing age; however, because women with disabilities are often deemed less likely to have children, accessibility to maternity care is limited. Women with disabilities experience problems during pregnancy and childbirth due to physical barriers and barriers to information, problems with communication and the attitude of providers. A recent World Health Organization statement calls for more action, dialogue, research and advocacy on disrespectful treatment during childbirth. To give substance to this, an overview of the experiences of women with a physical disability is essential. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review is to identify and provide an overview of reported maternity care experiences of women with physical disabilities, including sensory disabilities. DESIGN: This systematic review was conducted using a meta-aggregation approach for synthesis and the steps of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement. The search strategy focused on qualitative studies in the databases PubMed, Embase and CINAHL. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist was used to evaluate methodological quality, and a best-evidence synthesis was performed. FINDINGS: Of the 4,486 studies screened, ten were included. The methodological quality of the studies ranged from high to moderate. The results indicated that women experience barriers related to accessibility of facilities, adapted equipment, lack of knowledge, and healthcare providers' dismissals of their concerns and unwillingness to assist. In contrast, support has a positive influence on women's experiences. KEY CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: There is evidence that women with physical disabilities continue to encounter barriers in accessing maternity care related to inaccessible care settings, lack of knowledge and the attitude of healthcare providers. Healthcare providers should be trained to be aware of women's special needs and to improve clinical practice.
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