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J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2009 Aug;31(8):708-716. doi: 10.1016/S1701-2163(16)34274-8.

Perinatal care for South Asian immigrant women and women born in Canada: telephone survey of users.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Calgary, Calgary AB.
2
Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary AB; Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary AB.
3
Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary AB.
4
Calgary Health Region Maternal Newborn Department, Alberta Health Services, Calgary AB.
5
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Calgary, Calgary AB; Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary AB; Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary AB.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous research findings suggest that pregnant immigrant women receive less adequate perinatal care than pregnant non-immigrant women. This study was designed to assess the use of perinatal care services by newly immigrated South Asian women and Canadian-born women, and to determine any perceived barriers to receiving care.

METHOD:

We conducted a telephone survey of women who delivered at an academic community hospital in Calgary, Alberta. Two groups of women were interviewed at seven weeks postpartum: South Asian women who had immigrated within the last three years, and Canadian-born women of any ethnicity. Women who spoke Hindi, Punjabi, and/or English were eligible. Interviews consisted mainly of closed-ended questions. The main outcomes we sought were the proportion of women receiving perinatal care (such as attending prenatal classes or fetal monitoring), and any perceived barriers to care.

RESULTS:

Thirty South Asian and 30 Canadian-born women were interviewed. Most women in each group reported having pregnancy evaluations carried out. Fewer South Asian women than Canadian-born women understood the purpose of symphysis-fundal height measurement (60% vs. 90%, P = 0.015) and tests for Group B streptococcus (33% vs. 73%, P = 0.004). Thirteen percent of South Asian and 23% of Canadian-born women attended prenatal classes. Most women (87-97%) believed they had received all necessary medical care. Language barriers were most commonly reported by South Asian women (33-43% vs. 0 for Canadian-born women).

CONCLUSION:

South Asian women considered language to be the most common barrier to receiving perinatal care. Such barriers may be overcome by wider availability of multilingual staff and educational materials in a variety of formats including illustrated books and videos.

PMID:
19772702
DOI:
10.1016/S1701-2163(16)34274-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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