Priorities and strategies for improving disabled women's access to maternity services when they are affected by domestic abuse: a multi-method study using concept maps

Caroline Bradbury-Jones (Lead / Corresponding author), Jenna P. Breckenridge, John Devaney, Fiona Duncan, Thilo Kroll, Anne Lazenbatt, Julie Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Domestic abuse is a significant public health issue. It occurs more frequently among disabled women than those without a disability and evidence suggests that a great deal of domestic abuse begins or worsens during pregnancy. All women and their infants are entitled to equal access to high quality maternity care. However, research has shown that disabled women who experience domestic abuse face numerous barriers to accessing care. The aim of the study was to identify the priority areas for improving access to maternity services for this group of women; develop strategies for improved access and utilisation; and explore the feasibility of implementing the identified strategies. Methods: This multi-method study was the third and final part of a larger study conducted in the UK between 2012 and 2014. The study used a modified concept mapping approach and was theoretically underpinned by Andersen's model of healthcare use. Seven focus group interviews were conducted with a range of maternity care professionals (n = 45), incorporating quantitative and qualitative components. Participants ranked perceived barriers to women's access and utilisation of maternity services in order of priority using a 5-point Likert scale. Quantitative data exploration used descriptive and non-parametric analyses. In the qualitative component of each focus group, participants discussed the barriers and identified potential improvement strategies (and feasibility of implementing these). Qualitative data were analysed inductively using a framework analysis approach. Results: The three most highly ranked barriers to women's access and utilisation of maternity services identified in the quantitative component were: 1) staff being unaware and not asking about domestic abuse and disability; 2) the impact of domestic abuse on women; 3) women's fear of disclosure. The top two priority strategies were: providing information about domestic abuse to all women and promoting non-judgemental staff attitude. These were also considered very feasible. The qualitative analysis identified a range of psychosocial and environmental barriers experienced by this group of women in accessing maternity care. Congruent with the quantitative results, the main themes were lack of awareness and fear of disclosure. Key strategies were identified as demystifying disclosure and creating physical spaces to facilitate disclosure. Conclusions: The study supports findings of previous research regarding the barriers that women face in accessing and utilising maternity services, particularly regarding the issue of disclosure. But the study provides new evidence on the perceived importance and feasibility of strategies to address such barriers. This is an important step in ensuring practice-based acceptability and ease with which improvement strategies might be implemented in maternity care settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number350
Number of pages17
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Volume15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2015

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Disclosure
Focus Groups
Fear
Attitude of Health Personnel
Quality of Health Care
Research
Public Health
Interviews
Delivery of Health Care
Pregnancy

Keywords

  • Access
  • Andersen model
  • Concept maps
  • Disability
  • Domestic abuse
  • Focus groups
  • Interpersonal violence
  • Maternity
  • Priorities
  • Strategies

Cite this

@article{efc26d7cf642421e81f77abf5069cd91,
title = "Priorities and strategies for improving disabled women's access to maternity services when they are affected by domestic abuse: a multi-method study using concept maps",
abstract = "Background: Domestic abuse is a significant public health issue. It occurs more frequently among disabled women than those without a disability and evidence suggests that a great deal of domestic abuse begins or worsens during pregnancy. All women and their infants are entitled to equal access to high quality maternity care. However, research has shown that disabled women who experience domestic abuse face numerous barriers to accessing care. The aim of the study was to identify the priority areas for improving access to maternity services for this group of women; develop strategies for improved access and utilisation; and explore the feasibility of implementing the identified strategies. Methods: This multi-method study was the third and final part of a larger study conducted in the UK between 2012 and 2014. The study used a modified concept mapping approach and was theoretically underpinned by Andersen's model of healthcare use. Seven focus group interviews were conducted with a range of maternity care professionals (n = 45), incorporating quantitative and qualitative components. Participants ranked perceived barriers to women's access and utilisation of maternity services in order of priority using a 5-point Likert scale. Quantitative data exploration used descriptive and non-parametric analyses. In the qualitative component of each focus group, participants discussed the barriers and identified potential improvement strategies (and feasibility of implementing these). Qualitative data were analysed inductively using a framework analysis approach. Results: The three most highly ranked barriers to women's access and utilisation of maternity services identified in the quantitative component were: 1) staff being unaware and not asking about domestic abuse and disability; 2) the impact of domestic abuse on women; 3) women's fear of disclosure. The top two priority strategies were: providing information about domestic abuse to all women and promoting non-judgemental staff attitude. These were also considered very feasible. The qualitative analysis identified a range of psychosocial and environmental barriers experienced by this group of women in accessing maternity care. Congruent with the quantitative results, the main themes were lack of awareness and fear of disclosure. Key strategies were identified as demystifying disclosure and creating physical spaces to facilitate disclosure. Conclusions: The study supports findings of previous research regarding the barriers that women face in accessing and utilising maternity services, particularly regarding the issue of disclosure. But the study provides new evidence on the perceived importance and feasibility of strategies to address such barriers. This is an important step in ensuring practice-based acceptability and ease with which improvement strategies might be implemented in maternity care settings.",
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Priorities and strategies for improving disabled women's access to maternity services when they are affected by domestic abuse : a multi-method study using concept maps. / Bradbury-Jones, Caroline (Lead / Corresponding author); Breckenridge, Jenna P.; Devaney, John; Duncan, Fiona; Kroll, Thilo; Lazenbatt, Anne; Taylor, Julie.

In: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Vol. 15, 350, 28.12.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Priorities and strategies for improving disabled women's access to maternity services when they are affected by domestic abuse

T2 - a multi-method study using concept maps

AU - Bradbury-Jones, Caroline

AU - Breckenridge, Jenna P.

AU - Devaney, John

AU - Duncan, Fiona

AU - Kroll, Thilo

AU - Lazenbatt, Anne

AU - Taylor, Julie

N1 - Funding: Wellbeing of Women.

PY - 2015/12/28

Y1 - 2015/12/28

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AB - Background: Domestic abuse is a significant public health issue. It occurs more frequently among disabled women than those without a disability and evidence suggests that a great deal of domestic abuse begins or worsens during pregnancy. All women and their infants are entitled to equal access to high quality maternity care. However, research has shown that disabled women who experience domestic abuse face numerous barriers to accessing care. The aim of the study was to identify the priority areas for improving access to maternity services for this group of women; develop strategies for improved access and utilisation; and explore the feasibility of implementing the identified strategies. Methods: This multi-method study was the third and final part of a larger study conducted in the UK between 2012 and 2014. The study used a modified concept mapping approach and was theoretically underpinned by Andersen's model of healthcare use. Seven focus group interviews were conducted with a range of maternity care professionals (n = 45), incorporating quantitative and qualitative components. Participants ranked perceived barriers to women's access and utilisation of maternity services in order of priority using a 5-point Likert scale. Quantitative data exploration used descriptive and non-parametric analyses. In the qualitative component of each focus group, participants discussed the barriers and identified potential improvement strategies (and feasibility of implementing these). Qualitative data were analysed inductively using a framework analysis approach. Results: The three most highly ranked barriers to women's access and utilisation of maternity services identified in the quantitative component were: 1) staff being unaware and not asking about domestic abuse and disability; 2) the impact of domestic abuse on women; 3) women's fear of disclosure. The top two priority strategies were: providing information about domestic abuse to all women and promoting non-judgemental staff attitude. These were also considered very feasible. The qualitative analysis identified a range of psychosocial and environmental barriers experienced by this group of women in accessing maternity care. Congruent with the quantitative results, the main themes were lack of awareness and fear of disclosure. Key strategies were identified as demystifying disclosure and creating physical spaces to facilitate disclosure. Conclusions: The study supports findings of previous research regarding the barriers that women face in accessing and utilising maternity services, particularly regarding the issue of disclosure. But the study provides new evidence on the perceived importance and feasibility of strategies to address such barriers. This is an important step in ensuring practice-based acceptability and ease with which improvement strategies might be implemented in maternity care settings.

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KW - Concept maps

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KW - Priorities

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