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Aust J Rural Health. 2002 Jun;10(3):154-60.

The maternity experiences of indigenous women admitted to an acute care setting.

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Centre for Clinical Nursing and Research (CCNR) Northern Territory University, PO Box 41326, Casuarina Northern Territory 0811, Australia.


This is the report of stage two of a three-stage project. The aim of the project is to develop educational resources through information and experiences provided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and health care professionals. The objectives were to optimise collaboration and participation by Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander women in sharing their maternity experiences about the birthing of their babies either in hospital, or out of hospital before arrival. The descriptive research of stage two explores issues that existed for twelve Indigenous women during and after their birthing experiences in an acute care setting. The results will inform patient and professional educational programs and policy in order to enhance the experiences for Indigenous women admitted to the acute care setting before or following birth. The results show broad variation in responses related to antenatal care, preparation for hospital and for birth, coming into town, accommodation, family support, experiences while in hospital, relationship with hospital staff and being away from home. Miscommunication and lack of cultural and spiritual understanding by health care professionals generally is a constant theme. The need for preparation of Indigenous women generally, prior to admission to an acute care setting, is confirmed.

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