Women's Experience of Maternal Morbidity - a Global Meta Ethnography

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 3:30 PM
Room: F205
Oral Presentation
Lisa HINTON , Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom
While the conditions and healthcare women experience during pregnancy and childbirth vary greatly, this meta-ethnography will explore whether there are shared ‘human’ experiences, regardless of inequalities in economies, healthcare resources and the social capital of women in different settings.

Maternal mortality rates vary greatly around the world, 99% of all maternal deaths occurring in developing countries. Improving maternal health by reducing maternal deaths is at the heart of global health policy.

Studies of near miss maternal morbidity, where a woman needs urgent life saving treatment during childbirth to save her life, have been undertaken in various settings. They are used to understand factors that lead to maternal death and improve care and outcomes for women.


Qualitative interview studies of near-miss maternal morbidity from around the globe (including the UK, Australia, Brazil and Burkina Faso) will be reviewed and synthesized using the meta-ethnographic method.


There are considerable organizational differences in the delivery of care and social context in which women experience these emergencies; women in Australia and the United Kingdom are giving birth in more individualistic and isolated communities than their counterparts in Burkina Faso and Brazil. Does experiencing an acute health crisis in a first world country where mortality rates are very low vary greatly from experiencing it in a developing country where maternal death is still a common occurrence?  How does the ‘social capital’ of women in different contexts impact on the long-term emotional and physical impact of these experiences?


This presentation will explore what can we learn from shared experiences and whether a synthesis of qualitative research can contribute to improving maternal health outcomes in diverse settings.