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BMJ Glob Health ; 6(4)2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476462


INTRODUCTION: Experts agree that male involvement in maternal health is a multifaceted concept, but a robust assessment is lacking, hampering interpretation of the literature. This systematic review aims to examine the conceptualisation of male involvement in maternal health globally and review commonly used indicators. METHODS: PubMed, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science and CINAHL databases were searched for quantitative literature (between the years 2000 and 2020) containing indicators representing male involvement in maternal health, which was defined as the involvement, participation, engagement or support of men in all activities related to maternal health. RESULTS: After full-text review, 282 studies were included in the review. Most studies were conducted in Africa (43%), followed by North America (23%), Asia (15%) and Europe (12%). Descriptive and text mining analysis showed male involvement has been conceptualised by focusing on two main aspects: psychosocial support and instrumental support for maternal health care utilisation. Differences in measurement and topics were noted according to continent with Africa focusing on HIV prevention, North America and Europe on psychosocial health and stress, and Asia on nutrition. One-third of studies used one single indicator and no common pattern of indicators could be identified. Antenatal care attendance was the most used indicator (40%), followed by financial support (17%), presence during childbirth (17%) and HIV testing (14%). Majority of studies did not collect data from men directly. DISCUSSION: Researchers often focus on a single aspect of male involvement, resulting in a narrow set of indicators. Aspects such as communication, shared decision making and the subjective feeling of support have received little attention. We believe a broader holistic scope can broaden the potential of male involvement programmes and stimulate a gender-transformative approach. Further research is recommended to develop a robust and comprehensive set of indicators for assessing male involvement in maternal health.

Maternal Health Services , Maternal Health , Africa , Europe , Female , Humans , Male , Natural Language Processing , Pregnancy
Lancet ; 398(10309): 1405-1406, 2021 10 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1464984
Women Birth ; 35(4): 378-386, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401932


BACKGROUND: Significant adjustments to maternity care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the direct impacts of COVID-19 can compromise the quality of maternal and newborn care. AIM: To explore how the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected frontline health workers' ability to provide respectful maternity care globally. METHODS: We conducted a global online survey of health workers to assess the provision of maternal and newborn healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. We collected qualitative data between July and December 2020 among a subset of respondents and conducted a qualitative content analysis to explore open-ended responses. FINDINGS: Health workers (n = 1127) from 71 countries participated; and 120 participants from 33 countries provided qualitative data. The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected the provision of respectful maternity care in multiple ways. Six central themes were identified: less family involvement, reduced emotional and physical support for women, compromised standards of care, increased exposure to medically unjustified caesarean section, and staff overwhelmed by rapidly changing guidelines and enhanced infection prevention measures. Further, respectful care provided to women and newborns with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection was severely affected due to health workers' fear of getting infected and measures taken to minimise COVID-19 transmission. DISCUSSION: Multidimensional and contextually-adapted actions are urgently needed to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision and continued promotion of respectful maternity care globally in the long-term. CONCLUSIONS: The measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic had the capacity to disrupt the provision of respectful maternity care and therefore the quality of maternity care.

COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cesarean Section , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Surveys and Questionnaires
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(2)2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105483


INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rapid implementation of telemedicine for the provision of maternal and newborn healthcare. The objective of this study was to document the experiences with providing telemedicine for maternal and newborn healthcare during the pandemic among healthcare professionals globally. METHODS: The second round of a global online survey of maternal and newborn health professionals was conducted, disseminated in 11 languages. Data were collected between 5 July and 10 September 2020. The questionnaire included questions regarding background, preparedness and response to COVID-19, and experiences with providing telemedicine. Descriptive statistics and qualitative thematic analysis were used to analyse responses, disaggregated by country income level. RESULTS: Responses from 1060 maternal and newborn health professionals were analysed. Telemedicine was used by 58% of health professionals and two-fifths of them reported not receiving guidelines on the provision of telemedicine. Key telemedicine practices included online birth preparedness classes, antenatal and postnatal care by video/phone, a COVID-19 helpline and online psychosocial counselling. Challenges reported lack of infrastructure and technological literacy, limited monitoring, financial and language barriers, lack of non-verbal feedback and bonding, and distrust from patients. Telemedicine was considered as an important alternative to in-person consultations. However, health providers emphasised the lower quality of care and risk of increasing the already existing inequalities in access to healthcare. CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine has been applied globally to address disruptions of care provision during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some crucial aspects of maternal and newborn healthcare seem difficult to deliver by telemedicine. More research regarding the effectiveness, efficacy and quality of telemedicine for maternal healthcare in different contexts is needed before considering long-term adaptations in provision of care away from face-to-face interactions. Clear guidelines for care provision and approaches to minimising socioeconomic and technological inequalities in access to care are urgently needed.

COVID-19 , Health Personnel/psychology , Maternal Health Services , Telemedicine , Communication Barriers , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires