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      Factors influencing the implementation of labour companionship: formative qualitative research in Thailand


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          WHO recommends that all women have the option to have a companion of their choice throughout labour and childbirth. Despite clear benefits of labour companionship, including better birth experiences and reduced caesarean section, labour companionship is not universally implemented. In Thailand, there are no policies for public hospitals to support companionship. This study aims to understand factors affecting implementation of labour companionship in Thailand.


          This is formative qualitative research to inform the ‘Appropriate use of caesarean section through QUALIty DECision-making by women and providers’ (QUALI-DEC) study, to design, adapt and implement a strategy to optimise use of caesarean section. We use in-depth interviews and readiness assessments to explore perceptions of healthcare providers, women and potential companions about labour companionship in eight Thai public hospitals. Qualitative data were analysed using thematic analysis, and narrative summaries of the readiness assessment were generated. Factors potentially affecting implementation were mapped to the Capability, Opportunity, and Motivation behaviour change model (COM-B).


          127 qualitative interviews and eight readiness assessments are included in this analysis. The qualitative findings were grouped in four themes: benefits of labour companions, roles of labour companions, training for labour companions and factors affecting implementation. The findings showed that healthcare providers, women and their relatives all had positive attitudes towards having labour companions. The readiness assessment highlighted implementation challenges related to training the companion, physical space constraints, overcrowding and facility policies, reiterated by the qualitative reports.


          If labour companions are well-trained on how to best support women, help them to manage pain and engage with healthcare teams, it may be a feasible intervention to implement in Thailand. However, key barriers to introducing labour companionship must be addressed to maximise the likelihood of success mainly related to training and space. These findings will be integrated into the QUALI-DEC implementation strategies.

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          Using thematic analysis in psychology

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            Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ): a 32-item checklist for interviews and focus groups.

            Qualitative research explores complex phenomena encountered by clinicians, health care providers, policy makers and consumers. Although partial checklists are available, no consolidated reporting framework exists for any type of qualitative design. To develop a checklist for explicit and comprehensive reporting of qualitative studies (in depth interviews and focus groups). We performed a comprehensive search in Cochrane and Campbell Protocols, Medline, CINAHL, systematic reviews of qualitative studies, author or reviewer guidelines of major medical journals and reference lists of relevant publications for existing checklists used to assess qualitative studies. Seventy-six items from 22 checklists were compiled into a comprehensive list. All items were grouped into three domains: (i) research team and reflexivity, (ii) study design and (iii) data analysis and reporting. Duplicate items and those that were ambiguous, too broadly defined and impractical to assess were removed. Items most frequently included in the checklists related to sampling method, setting for data collection, method of data collection, respondent validation of findings, method of recording data, description of the derivation of themes and inclusion of supporting quotations. We grouped all items into three domains: (i) research team and reflexivity, (ii) study design and (iii) data analysis and reporting. The criteria included in COREQ, a 32-item checklist, can help researchers to report important aspects of the research team, study methods, context of the study, findings, analysis and interpretations.
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              The behaviour change wheel: A new method for characterising and designing behaviour change interventions

              Background Improving the design and implementation of evidence-based practice depends on successful behaviour change interventions. This requires an appropriate method for characterising interventions and linking them to an analysis of the targeted behaviour. There exists a plethora of frameworks of behaviour change interventions, but it is not clear how well they serve this purpose. This paper evaluates these frameworks, and develops and evaluates a new framework aimed at overcoming their limitations. Methods A systematic search of electronic databases and consultation with behaviour change experts were used to identify frameworks of behaviour change interventions. These were evaluated according to three criteria: comprehensiveness, coherence, and a clear link to an overarching model of behaviour. A new framework was developed to meet these criteria. The reliability with which it could be applied was examined in two domains of behaviour change: tobacco control and obesity. Results Nineteen frameworks were identified covering nine intervention functions and seven policy categories that could enable those interventions. None of the frameworks reviewed covered the full range of intervention functions or policies, and only a minority met the criteria of coherence or linkage to a model of behaviour. At the centre of a proposed new framework is a 'behaviour system' involving three essential conditions: capability, opportunity, and motivation (what we term the 'COM-B system'). This forms the hub of a 'behaviour change wheel' (BCW) around which are positioned the nine intervention functions aimed at addressing deficits in one or more of these conditions; around this are placed seven categories of policy that could enable those interventions to occur. The BCW was used reliably to characterise interventions within the English Department of Health's 2010 tobacco control strategy and the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence's guidance on reducing obesity. Conclusions Interventions and policies to change behaviour can be usefully characterised by means of a BCW comprising: a 'behaviour system' at the hub, encircled by intervention functions and then by policy categories. Research is needed to establish how far the BCW can lead to more efficient design of effective interventions.

                Author and article information

                BMJ Open
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                26 May 2022
                : 12
                : 5
                : e054946
                [1 ] departmentFaculty of Nursing , Khon Kaen University , Khon Kaen, Thailand
                [2 ] departmentFaculty of Nursing , Mahidol University , Bangkok, Thailand
                [3 ] departmentDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine , Khon Kaen University , Khon Kaen, Thailand
                [4 ] departmentGender and Women's Health Unit, Centre of Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health , The University of Melbourne , Carlton, Victoria, Australia
                [5 ] departmentDepartment of Global Public Health , Karolinska Institutet , Stockholm, Sweden
                [6 ] London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine , London, UK
                [7 ] departmentCentre Population et Developpement (CEPED) , Institute for Research on Sustainable Development, IRD-Université de Paris, ERL INSERM SAGESUD , Paris, France
                [8 ] departmentUNDP/UNFPA/UNICEF/World Bank Special Program of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP), Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research , World Health Organization , Geneve, GE, Switzerland
                Author notes
                [Correspondence to ] Dr Meghan A. Bohren; meghan.bohren@ 123456unimelb.edu.au
                Author information
                © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.

                This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                : 29 June 2021
                : 04 May 2022
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100010661, Horizon 2020 Framework Programme;
                Award ID: 847567
                Funded by: UNDP-UNFPA-UNICEF-WHO-World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP), a cosponsored programme executed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research (SRH);
                Global Health
                Original research
                Custom metadata

                obstetrics,public health,international health services,quality in health care,qualitative research


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