A qualitative study on midwives' identity and perspectives on the occurrence of disrespect and abuse in Maputo city

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Anna Galle, Helma Manaharlal, Sally Griffin, Nafissa Osman, Kristien Roelens, Olivier Degomme


BackgroundMidwifery care plays a vital role in the reduction of preventable maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity. There is a growing concern about the quality of care during facility based childbirth and the occurrence of disrespect and abuse (D&A) worldwide. While several studies have reported a high prevalence of D&A, evidence about the drivers of D&A is scarce. This study aims to explore midwives' professional identity and perspectives on the occurrence of D&A in urban Mozambique.MethodsA qualitative study took place in the central hospital of Maputo, Mozambique. Nine focus group discussions with midwives were conducted, interviewing 54 midwives. RQDA software was used for analysing the data by open coding and thematic analysis from a grounded theory perspective.ResultsMidwives felt proud of their profession but felt they were disrespected by the institution and wider society because of their inferior status compared to doctors. Furthermore, they felt blamed for poor health outcomes. The occurrence of D&A seemed more likely in emergency situations but midwives tended to blame this on women being "uncooperative". The involvement of birth companions was a protective factor against D&A together with supervision.ConclusionIn order to improve quality of care and reduce the occurrence of D&A midwives will need to be treated with more respect within the health system. Furthermore, they should be trained in handling obstetric emergency situations with respect and dignity for the patient. Systematic and constructive supervision might be another promising strategy for preventing D&A.




Anna Galle
Olivier Degomme

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