Barriers to quality midwifery care: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative data
International Journal of Childbirth
Springer Publishing Company
School of Nursing and Midwifery
BACKGROUND: Skilled attendance at birth by well-educated and regulated midwives has been identified to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths, however, it has been established that midwives experience barriers that can affect their ability to provide quality care to women and neonates. AIM: This systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative data was conducted to investigate the barriers to midwives' ability to provide quality care focusing on African and developed countries. METHODS: The Joanna Briggs Institute process for conducting systematic reviews was followed for this review. Qualitative studies that reported on barriers to midwives' ability to provide quality care were identified by searching the following databases: CINAHL, PubMed, Web of Science, and PsychINFO. Studies reported in English in the last 10 years, within which most participants were midwives and the data reported on barriers to quality care provision by midwives were included in this review. RESULTS: 813 published research studies were screened, and 11 research papers were included in this review. The meta-synthesis of the findings resulted in six categories: the lack of equipment; inadequate skills and training, lack of space and infrastructure, staff shortages and high workloads, emotional barriers, and workplace culture. Using the Donabedian model of quality care, the barriers were grouped into structure, process, and outcome factors. CONCLUSION: Currently efforts to improve quality care in African countries focus on structural factors. Efforts to improve quality care in developed countries focus on process factors. In order to improve quality care for women and neonates, efforts need to be focused on all the factors that promotequality care.