NAVIGATING ANTENATAL CARE IN OMAN: A GROUNDED THEORY OF WOMEN'S AND HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS' EXPERIENCES

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Fatma Al Maqbali

Abstract

Background: In Oman, 33.3% of women attended late for publicly funded antenatal care in 2015 and 24% did not attend for the recommended 4-6 visits during their pregnancy. This low attendance suggests a need to explore attendance for antenatal care for low-risk pregnant women in Oman. Methodology: An exploratory qualitative design informed by constructivist grounded theory methodology was used in this research. Methods: In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with an initial purposive sample of nine pregnant women. The initial analysis enabled theoretical sampling of thirteen non-participant observations during women's appointments, interviews with ten care providers, and six women who booked late after 12 weeks of gestation. A constructivist grounded theory analytical framework of initial, focused and theoretical coding was followed to analyse all the data collected. Findings: The core category consists of five interrelated sub-categories: perceived benefits and value of antenatal care; timing of the first antenatal visit; woman-carer interactions during antenatal care; experiences with antenatal care delivery; and supplementary use of private healthcare. The integral categories explain the social processes and issues surrounding antenatal care. The emergent core category, Navigating antenatal care, reflects the views of the women and their care providers. The women were unhappy with the organisation and physical environment of care but attended their appointments to ensure optimal pregnancy outcome and to alleviate their fears of developing complications. Thus, they used both private and public healthcare and sourced online information in response to their feelings of obligation to protect their fetus. Conclusion: The women appeared disempowered and to lack control over the care they received. Thus, they accepted conditions such as long waiting times in an uncomfortable environment and the disrespect they encountered during their visits. There was a discrepancy between what the women expected and needed from their antenatal care and the actual care and information they received, which did not satisfy their needs. This could be due to a lack of woman-centred care and limited involvement in the plan of care. Thus, women sought further reassurance by accessing private clinics, using online information, and networking with others, which also resulted in a late booking for public antenatal care.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date1 Aug 2019