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      Socioeconomic and physical distance to the maternity hospital as predictors for place of delivery: an observation study from Nepal

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          Although the debate on the safety and women's right of choice to a home delivery vs. hospital delivery continues in the developed countries, an undesirable outcome of home delivery, such as high maternal and perinatal mortality, is documented in developing countries. The objective was to study whether socio-economic factors, distance to maternity hospital, ethnicity, type and size of family, obstetric history and antenatal care received in present pregnancy affected the choice between home and hospital delivery in a developing country.


          This cross-sectional study was done during June, 2001 to January 2002 in an administratively and geographically well-defined territory with a population of 88,547, stretching from urban to adjacent rural part of Kathmandu and Dhading Districts of Nepal with maximum of 5 hrs of distance from Maternity hospital. There were no intermediate level of private or government hospital or maternity homes in the study area. Interviews were carried out on 308 women who delivered within 45 days of the date of the interview with a pre-tested structured questionnaire.


          A distance of more than one hour to the maternity hospital (OR = 7.9), low amenity score status (OR = 4.4), low education (OR = 2.9), multi-parity (OR = 2.4), and not seeking antenatal care in the present pregnancy (OR = 4.6) were statistically significantly associated with an increased risk of home delivery. Ethnicity, obstetric history, age of mother, ritual observance of menarche, type and size of family and who is head of household were not statistically significantly associated with the place of delivery.


          The socio-economic standing of the household was a stronger predictor of place of delivery compared to ethnicity, the internal family structure such as type and size of family, head of household, or observation of ritual days by the mother of an important event like menarche. The results suggested that mothers, who were in the low-socio-economic scale, delivered at home more frequently in a developing country like Nepal.

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          Most cited references 40

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          The measurement of social class in epidemiology.

           P Liberatos,  J Kelsey,  B Link (1987)
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            Factors influencing choice of delivery sites in Rakai district of Uganda.

            In order to understand factors influencing choice of delivery sites in Rakai district of south-western Uganda, eight focus group discussions based on the Attitudes-Social influence-Self efficacy model were held with 32 women and 32 men. Semi-structured interviews were also held with 211 women from 21 random cluster samples who had a delivery in the previous 12 months (from 2 June 1997). Forty four percent of the sample delivered at home, 17% at traditional birth attendant's (TBA) place, 32% at public health units, and 7% at private clinics. Among the factors influencing choice of delivery site were: access to maternity services; social influence from the spouse, other relatives, TBAs and health workers; self-efficacy; habit (previous experience) and the concept of normal versus abnormal pregnancy. Attitudinal beliefs towards various delivery sites were well understood and articulated. Attendance of ante-natal care may discourage delivery in health units if the mothers are told that the pregnancy is normal. In order to make delivery safer, there is need to improve access to maternity services, train TBAs and equip them with delivery kits, change mother's self-efficacy beliefs, and involve spouses in education about safe delivery.
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              Why do nurses abuse patients? Reflections from South African obstetric services.

               Z Mvo,  R Jewkes,  N Abrahams (1998)
              Nurse-patient relationships are a substantially neglected area of empirical research, the more so in developing than developed countries. Although nursing discourse usually emphasises "caring", nursing practice is often quite different and may be more strongly characterised by humiliation of patients and physical abuse. This paper explores the question: why do nurses abuse patients, through presentation and discussion of findings of research on health seeking practices in one part of the South African maternity services. The research was qualitative and based on 103 minimally structured in-depth individual interviews and four group discussions held with patients and staff in the services. Many of the patients reported clinical neglect, verbal and physical abuse from nursing staff which was at times reactive, and at others, ritualised, in nature. Although they explained nurses' treatment of them in terms of a few 'rotten apples in the barrel', analysis of the data revealed a complex interplay of concerns including organisational issues. professional insecurities, perceived need to assert "control" over the environment and sanctioning of the use of coercive and punitive measures to do so, and an underpinning ideology of patient inferiority. The findings suggest that the nurses were engaged in a continuous struggle to assert their professional and middle class identity and in the process deployed violence against patients as a means of creating social distance and maintaining fantasies of identity and power. The deployment of violence became commonplace because of the lack of local accountability of services and lack of action taken by managers and higher levels of the profession against nurses who abuse patients. It also became established as "normal" in nursing practice because of a lack of powerful competing ideologies of patient care and nursing ethics. The paper concludes by discussing avenues for intervention to improve staff-patient relationships.

                Author and article information

                BMC Pregnancy Childbirth
                BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
                BioMed Central (London )
                22 May 2004
                : 4
                : 8
                [1 ]Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Aarhus, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
                [2 ]Perinatal Epidemiological Research Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Aarhus University Hospital, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark
                Copyright © 2004 Wagle et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article: verbatim copying and redistribution of this article are permitted in all media for any purpose, provided this notice is preserved along with the article's original URL.
                Research Article

                Obstetrics & Gynecology

                socio-economic status, place of delivery, distance


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