Health care-seeking practices of pregnant women and the role of the midwife in Cape Town, South Africa

Abrahams, N; Jewkes, RK; Mvo, Z; (2001) Health care-seeking practices of pregnant women and the role of the midwife in Cape Town, South Africa. Journal of midwifery & women's health, 46 (4). pp. 240-7. ISSN 1526-9523 DOI:

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The objective of this study was to investigate the health-seeking practices of pregnant women in a periurban area in Cape Town, South Africa. This qualitative study was based on 103 minimally structured in-depth interviews of 32 pregnant women. Most women were interviewed on several occasions, and a group discussion was held with women. The interviews were taped, transcribed, analyzed ethnographically, and, if necessary, translated into English. Antenatal care attendance was influenced by a number of factors, including women's knowledge of the role of antenatal care, perceived health needs, booking systems, nurse-patient relationships, economics, child care, and transport. The expected benefits were weighed against the anticipated costs before decisions about seeking care were made. The findings highlight the importance of women's perceptions of quality of care in influencing their health seeking practices. The study suggests that considerably more attention needs to be given to this aspect of maternity services.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Adolescence, Adult, Delivery of Health Care, Female, Human, Interviews, Midwifery, National Health Programs, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, Pregnancy, Prenatal Care, South Africa, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 11603639
Web of Science ID: 171534100010


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