'What women want': Using image theory to develop expectations of maternity care framework
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Objectives: to develop, in consultation with women, a theoretically-grounded framework to guide the assessment of women's maternity-care experiences. Design: qualitative research was undertaken with women to examine the appropriateness of Image Theory as a heuristic for understanding how women plan and evaluate their maternity-care experiences. Setting: maternity-care services in metropolitan and regional communities in Western Australia. Outcomes: an Episodes of Maternity Care Framework grounded in Image Theory was established that addressed various domains of women's perceptions and expectations of their maternity-care experience. Conclusions: previously-identified weaknesses of methods used to measure patient satisfaction were addressed and a valid framework for investigating women's perception of their maternity-services experiences was developed. This framework has the potential to contribute to the ongoing development and improvement of maternity-care service.