Maternity care: A narrative overview of what women expect across their care continuum
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Objectives: to provide a narrative overview of the values schema underpinning women's expectations of public maternity-care services using an episodes-of-care framework. Design: focus-group discussions and in-depth interviews were undertaken with Western Australian women who had opted for public maternity care to determine the values schema apparent in their expectations of their care. Setting: public maternity-care services in metropolitan (i.e. Armadale, Osborne Park and Rockingham) and regional (i.e. Broome, Geraldton, Bunbury) Western Australia. Findings: women interviewed were found to have consistent values schema underpinning their maternity-care expectations and evaluations. Conclusions: the current study suggests that while women's choices and experiences of maternity care may differ on a range of dimensions, the values schema underlying their care expectations and subsequent evaluations are similar.The study findings resonate with past Australian research regarding women's expectations of public maternity care, but complement it by providing a coherent narrative of core underpinning stage-specific values schema. These may assist maternity-care policy makers, practitioners and researchers seeking to better understand and comprehensively respond to women's maternity-care expectations.