Women's suggestions on how to improve the quality of maternal and newborn hospital care: A qualitative study in Italy using the WHO standards as framework for the analysis

Marzia Lazzerini, Chiara Semenzato, Jaspreet Kaur, Benedetta Covi, Giorgia Argentini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: A recent systematic review identified very few studies on women's views on how to improve the quality of maternal and newborn care (QMNC). This study aimed at exploring the suggestions provided by women, after hospital delivery in Italy, on how to improve the QMNC. Methods: A questionnaire, containing open questions to capture suggestions on how to improve QMNC, was used to collect suggestions of mothers who gave birth a tertiary care referral hospital in Northeast Italy, between December 2016 and September 2018. Two authors independently used thematic analysis to analyse women's comments, using the WHO Standards for improving the QMNC as framework for the analysis. Results: Overall 392 mothers provided a total of 966 comments on how to improve the QMNC. Overall 45 (11.5%) women made suggestions pertinent to "provision of care", 222 (56.6%) to the "experience of care", 217 (55.4%) to "physical or to human resources". The top five suggestions were: 1) increase presence of a companion during the whole hospitalization (28.3% of women); 2) improve bathrooms and showers (18.4%); 3) improve effective communication from staff (14.0%); 4) improve staff professionalism, empathy, and kindness (13.5%); 5) increase support and information on how to provide care to the newborn (11.2%). Overall, 158 (16.4%) suggestions could not be classified in any WHO Standards, and among these most (72.1%) were related to physical structures, such as: decrease the number of patients per room; create areas for visitors; avoid case mixing in the same room; reduce rooming-in/better support the mother. Overall 62 (15.8%) women expressed appreciations. Conclusions: Collecting the women's views on how to improve the QMNC after hospital delivery highlighted critical inputs on aspects of care that should be improved in the opinion of service-users. More investments should be made for establishing routine systems for monitoring patients experience of care. Data collected should be used to improve QMNC. WHO Standards may be further optimized by adding items emerging as relevant for women in high-income countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number200
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 6 2020

Keywords

  • Hospital
  • Newborn
  • Qualitative study
  • Quality of care
  • Service users
  • Standards
  • WHO
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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