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2.
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 22(1): 313, 2022 Apr 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1789105

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People using maternity services in the United Kingdom (UK) have faced significant changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing regulations. We focused on the experiences of pregnant women using UK maternity services during the pandemic and the impact of social distancing rules on their mental health and wellbeing. METHODS: We conducted 23 qualitative semi-structured interviews from June 2020 to August 2021, with women from across the UK who experienced a pregnancy during the pandemic. Nineteen participants in the study carried their pregnancy to term and four had experienced a miscarriage during the pandemic. Interviews took place remotely over video or telephone call, discussing topics such as mental health during pregnancy and use of UK maternity services. We used reflexive thematic analysis to analyse interview transcripts. RESULTS: We generated six higher order themes: [1] Some pregnancy discomforts alleviated by social distancing measures, [2] The importance of relationships that support coping and adjustment, [3] Missed pregnancy and parenthood experiences, [4] The mental health consequences of birth partner and visitor restrictions, [5] Maternity services under pressure, and [6] Lack of connection with staff. Many participants felt a sense of loss over a pregnancy experience that differed so remarkably to what they had expected because of the pandemic. Supportive relationships were important to help cope with pregnancy and pandemic-related changes; but feelings of isolation were compounded for some participants because opportunities to build social connections through face-to-face parent groups were unavailable. Participants also described feeling alone due to restrictions on their partners being present when accessing UK maternity services. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight some of the changes that may have affected pregnant women's mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reduced social support and being unable to have a partner or support person present during maternity service use were the greatest concerns reported by participants in this study. Absence of birth partners removed a protective buffer in times of uncertainty and distress. This suggests that the availability of a birth partner or support person must be prioritised wherever possible in times of pandemics to protect the mental health of people experiencing pregnancy and miscarriage.


Subject(s)
Abortion, Spontaneous , COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pregnancy , Pregnant Women/psychology , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
3.
BMJ ; 377: o898, 2022 Apr 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784792
5.
S Afr Fam Pract (2004) ; 64(1): e1-e12, 2022 Mar 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1780149

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND:  Many health systems were poorly prepared for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and found it difficult to protect maternity and reproductive health services. The aim of the study was to explore the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability of maternity healthcare providers to maintain the positive practices introduced by the CLEVER Maternity Care programme and to elicit information on their support needs. METHODS:  This multimethod study was conducted in midwife-led obstetric units (MOUs) and district hospitals in Tshwane District, South Africa and included a survey questionnaire and qualitative reports and reflections by the CLEVER implementation team. Two five-point Likert-scale items were supplemented by open-ended questions to provide suggestions on improving health systems and supporting healthcare workers. RESULTS:  Most of the 114 respondents were advanced midwives or registered nurses (86%). Participants from MOUs rated the maintenance of quality care practices significantly higher than those from district hospitals (p = 0.0130). There was a significant difference in perceptions of support from the district management between designations (p = 0.0037), with managers having the most positive perception compared with advanced midwives (p = 0.0018) and registered nurses (p = 0.0115). The interpretation framework had three main themes: working environment and health-system readiness; quality of patient care and service provision; and healthcare workers' response to the pandemic. Health-facility readiness is described as proactive, reactive or lagging. CONCLUSION:  Lessons learned from this pandemic should be used to build responsive health systems that will enable primary healthcare workers to maintain quality patient care, services and communication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , Midwifery , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pregnancy , Quality Improvement
6.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(3): e31831, 2022 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1770897

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mental health and pregnancy apps are widely available and have the potential to improve health outcomes and enhance women's experience of pregnancy. Women frequently access digital information throughout their pregnancy. However, health care providers and women have little information to guide them toward potentially helpful or effective apps. OBJECTIVE: This review aimed to evaluate a methodology for systematically searching and reviewing commercially available apps that support pregnant women with symptoms of anxiety in order to assist maternity care professionals in identifying resources that they could recommend for these women. METHODS: A stepwise systematic approach was used to identify, select, describe, and assess the most popular and highly user-rated apps available in the United Kingdom from January to March 2021. This included developing a script-based search strategy and search process, writing evaluation criteria, and conducting a narrative description and evaluation of the selected apps. RESULTS: Useful search terms were identified, which included nonclinical, aspirational, and problem-based phrases. There were 39 apps selected for inclusion in the review. No apps specifically targeted women with anxiety in pregnancy. Of the 39 apps included in the review, 33 (85%) focused solely on mind-body techniques to promote relaxation, stress reduction, and psychological well-being. Only 8 of the 39 (21%) apps included in the review reported that health care professionals had contributed to app development and only 1/39 (3%) provided empirical evidence on the effectiveness and acceptability of the app. The top 12/39 (31%) apps were evaluated by 2 independent reviewers using the developed criteria and scores. There was a small negative correlation between the reviewers' scores and app user rating scores, with higher user rating scores associated with lower reviewer scores. CONCLUSIONS: App developers, publishers, and maternity care professionals should seek advice from women with lived experience of anxiety symptoms in pregnancy to locate, promote, and optimize the visibility of apps for pregnant women. There is a lack of resources that provide coping strategies based on current evidence for the treatment of anxiety in pregnancy. Maternity care providers are limited in their ability to locate and recommend acceptable and trustworthy apps because of the lack of information on the evidence base, development, and testing of apps. Maternity care professionals and women need access to libraries of trusted apps that have been evaluated against relevant and established criteria.


Subject(s)
Maternal Health Services , Mobile Applications , Obstetrics , Anxiety/therapy , Anxiety Disorders , Female , Humans , Pregnancy
7.
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 22(1): 260, 2022 Mar 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1770506

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to unprecedented worries and challenges for pregnant women due to social restrictions and changes in maternity care provision. We aimed to investigate the mental health impact of COVID-19 pandemic on pregnant women in Sweden and explore factors associated with poor perinatal mental health in this specific context. METHOD: This was a nation-wide cross-sectional survey of pregnant women living in Sweden. Validated questionnaires were distributed through non-profit organizations´ websites and social media channels from May 2020 to February 2021. Perinatal depression, anxiety, and acute stress reaction were assessed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) and Impact Event Scale (Revised) (IES-R), respectively. Sociodemographic characteristics and self-perceived mental well-being were also obtained. Factors associated with mental health outcomes were analyzed using multivariate logistic regression model. RESULTS: Among a total of 470 participants, 43.2% (n = 203) reported depression (EPDS ≥13), 25.7% (n = 121) moderate to severe anxiety (GAD-7 score ≥ 10), and 23.7% (n = 110) moderate to severe acute stress reaction (IES-R ≥ 33). 27.4% participants (n = 129) expressed concerns regarding their mental well-being during the pandemic. Pregnant mothers who had sick family members reported poorer mental health outcomes than those who did not (median [Interquartile range (IQR)] EPDS scores: 14.0 [8.75-18.0] vs 11.0 [6.25-15.0], p < .001; median (IQR) GAD7 scores: 7.0 [4.0-12.25] vs 6.0 [3.0-9.0], p = .003); median (IQR) IES-R scores: 20.0 [9.0-38.0] vs 15.0 [7.0-30.0], p = .048). Logistic regression analyses revealed that risk factors for poor mental health outcomes were having a sick family member with any illness, unemployment, and experiencing a substantially stressful life event. Having a higher educational level and a younger age during the pandemic were protective. CONCLUSION: Depression and anxiety were highly prevalent among pregnant women in Sweden during the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating a need for professional mental health support for this vulnerable group of population. Unemployment was an associated risk factor whereas younger age and higher educational level were protective suggesting an important role of socio-economic factors in modulating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on perinatal mental health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/psychology , Female , Health Status , Humans , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Pregnant Women/psychology , Self Report , Sweden/epidemiology
8.
BMJ Open ; 12(3): e061093, 2022 Mar 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765129

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Severe maternal morbidity (SMM)-an unexpected pregnancy-associated maternal outcome resulting in severe illness, prolonged hospitalisation or long-term disability-is recognised by many, as the preferred indicator of the quality of maternity care, especially in high-income countries. Obtaining comprehensive details on events and circumstances leading to SMM, obtained through maternity units, could complement data from large epidemiological studies and enable targeted interventions to improve maternal health. The aim of this study is to assess the feasibility of gathering such data from maternity units across Canadian provinces and territories, with the goal of establishing a national obstetric survey system for SMM in Canada. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We propose a sequential explanatory mixed-methods study. We will first distribute a cross-sectional survey to leads of all maternity units across Canada to gather information on (1) Whether the unit has a system for reviewing SMM and the nature and format of this system, (2) Willingness to share anonymised data on SMM by direct entry using a web-based platform and (3) Respondents' perception on the definition and leading causes of SMM at a local level. This will be followed by semistructured interviews with respondent groups defined a priori, to identify barriers and facilitators for data sharing. We will perform an integrated analysis to determine feasibility outcomes, a narrative description of barriers and facilitators for data-sharing and resource implications for data acquisition on an annual basis, and variations in top-5 causes of SMM. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study has been approved by the Mount Sinai and Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Boards. The study findings will be presented at annual scientific meetings of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, North American Society of Obstetric Medicine, and International Network of Obstetric Survey Systems and published in an open-access peer-reviewed Obstetrics and Gynaecology or General Internal Medicine journal.


Subject(s)
Maternal Health Services , Canada/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Outcome , Severity of Illness Index
9.
BMJ Open ; 12(2): e056951, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741638

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This paper presents the effect of the early phase of COVID-19 on the coverage of essential maternal and newborn health (MNH) services in a rural subdistrict of Bangladesh. DESIGN: Cross-sectional household survey with random sampling. SETTING: Baliakandi subdistrict, Rajbari district, Bangladesh. PARTICIPANTS: Data were collected from women who were on the third trimester of pregnancy during the early phase of the pandemic (111) and pre-pandemic periods (115) to measure antenatal care (ANC) service coverage. To measure birth, postnatal care (PNC) and essential newborn care (ENC), data were collected from women who had a history of delivery during the early phase of the pandemic (163) and pre-pandemic periods (166). EXPOSURE: Early phase of the pandemic included a strict national lockdown between April and June 2020, and pre-pandemic was defined as August-October 2019. OUTCOME OF INTEREST: Changes in the coverage of selected MNH services (ANC, birth, PNC, ENC) during the early phase of COVID-19 pandemic compared with the pre-pandemic period, estimated by two-sample proportion tests. FINDINGS: Among women who were on the third trimester of pregnancy during the early phase of the pandemic period, 77% (95% CI: 70% to 85%) received at least one ANC from a medically trained provider (MTP) during the third trimester, compared with 83% (95% CI: 76% to 90%) during the pre-pandemic period (p=0.33). Among women who gave birth during the early phase of the pandemic period, 72% (95% CI: 66% to 79%) were attended by an MTP, compared with 63% (95% CI: 56% to 71%) during the pre-pandemic period (p=0.08). Early initiation of breast feeding was practised among 38% (95% CI: 31% to 46%) of the babies born during the early phase of the pandemic period. It was 37% (95% CI: 29% to 44%) during the pre-pandemic period (p=0.81). The coverage of ANC, birth, PNC and ENC did not differ by months of pandemic and pre-pandemic periods; only the coverage of at least one ANC from an MTP significantly differed among the women who were 7 months pregnant during the early phase of the pandemic (35%, 95% CI: 26% to 44%) and pre-pandemic (49%, 95% CI: 39% to 58%) (p=0.04). CONCLUSION: The effect of the early phase of the pandemic including lockdown on the selected MNH service coverage was null in the study area. The nature of the lockdown, the availability and accessibility of private sector health services in that area, and the combating strategies at the rural level made it possible for the women to avail the required MNH services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , Bangladesh/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Prenatal Care , SARS-CoV-2
10.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264311, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736507

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2pandemic necessitated several changes in maternity care. We investigated maternity care providers' opinions on the positive and negative effects of these changes and on potential areas of improvement for future maternity care both in times of crisis and in regular maternity care. METHODS: We conducted nineteen semi-structured in-depth interviews with obstetricians, obstetric residents, community-based and hospital-based midwives and obstetric nurses. The interviews were thematically analysed using inductive Thematic analysis. RESULTS: Five themes were generated: '(Dis)proportionate measures', 'A significant impact of COVID-19', 'Differing views on inter-provider cooperation', 'Reluctance to seek help' and 'Lessons learnt'. The Central Organizing Concept was: 'It was tough but necessary'. The majority of participants were positive about most of the measures that were taken and about their proportionality. These measures had a significant impact on maternity care providers, both mentally and on an organizational level. Most hospital-based care providers were positive about professional cooperation and communication, but some community-based midwives indicated that the cooperation between different midwifery care practices was suboptimal. Negative effects mentioned were a higher threshold for women to seek care, less partner involvement and perceived more fear among women and their partners, especially around birth. The most significant positive effect mentioned was increased use of eHealth tools. Recommendations for future care were to consider the necessity of prenatal and postnatal care more critically, to replace some face-to-face visits with eHealth and to provide more individualised care. CONCLUSION: Maternity care providers experienced measures and organizational changes during the first wave of the COVID19-pandemic as tough, but necessary. They believed that a more critical consideration of medically necessary care, increased use of e-health and more individualised care might contribute to making maternity care more sustainable during and after the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/psychology , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Adult , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Netherlands/epidemiology , Nurses/psychology , Organizational Innovation , Physicians/psychology , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Surveys and Questionnaires
12.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(4)2022 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715319

ABSTRACT

Eating healthily and being physically active during pregnancy are important for maternal and offspring health. Maternity healthcare is a key arena for health promotion; however, 20% of pregnant women in Sweden are foreign-born, which may reduce reach due to language and cultural barriers. The aims of this study were to explore healthcare professionals' perceptions about (a) promoting health behaviors (i.e., healthy diet, physical activity, and weight gain) among Arabic- and Somali-speaking pregnant women and (b) how a translated version of the previously evaluated Swedish app (HealthyMoms) can be tailored and used as a tool in their clinical work. Healthcare professionals in Swedish maternity care (n = 14) were interviewed. Data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Healthcare professionals expressed challenges in health promotion work, including cultural and educational aspects and low awareness of health behaviors among women themselves and their social environment. Further, a lack of resources within the clinical practice and a need for cultural awareness among healthcare professionals were highlighted. Finally, it was perceived that a translated app has potential to provide basic and culturally adjusted information, facilitate communication and thus has potential to become a helpful tool in maternity care to support healthy lifestyle behaviors in Arabic- and Somali-speaking pregnant women.


Subject(s)
Maternal Health Services , Pregnant Women , Delivery of Health Care , Diet, Healthy , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , Qualitative Research
13.
Nurs Res ; 71(2): E10-E20, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713802

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Movement Control Order (MCO), also known as the partial lockdown, was introduced in Malaysia in March 2020 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, changing many public sector protocols and regulations. This may have implications for neonatal and maternity care and services, especially among new mothers. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the postnatal experiences and feeding practices between mothers who gave birth before MCO (B-MCO) and during MCO (D-MCO). METHOD: One thousand fifty-one mothers with an infant under 18 months in Malaysia completed an online survey between July 2020 and October 2020. The survey advertisement was disseminated online via various social media platforms. RESULTS: More D-MCO mothers faced a significant effect on the ability to pay rent/mortgage, with their spouses facing a higher impact on employment. D-MCO mothers were more likely to have changed their birth plans, perceived insufficient breastfeeding support, and experienced changes in postnatal services since MCO. In contrast, more B-MCO mothers had stopped breastfeeding during the MCO and started complementary feeding earlier than planned. Many mothers reported feeling down and lonely and having trouble sleeping and a poor appetite. D-MCO mothers had more time to focus on their health, whereas B-MCO mothers spent more time outdoors. DISCUSSION: MCO affected mothers' livelihood and postnatal experiences, potentially causing emotional distress. Hence, improved breastfeeding support, particularly at birth, is recommended, as is routine mental health screening during the postnatal checkup. Furthermore, because online contact was readily accessible during the pandemic, the efficacy of online breastfeeding support should be evaluated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , Breast Feeding/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Mothers/psychology , Pandemics , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2
14.
CMAJ Open ; 10(1): E146-E154, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708774

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Given the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty around the timing of its containment, understanding the experiences and responses of the perinatal population is essential for planning responsive maternity care both during and after the pandemic. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of pregnant people and their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to identify how health care providers can support this population. METHODS: This was a mixed-methods, descriptive study with cross-sectional and qualitative descriptive components. We conducted the study between Mar. 20 and May 31, 2020, in British Columbia, Canada. Any pregnant person at any gestational age living in BC was eligible to participate. We collected quantitative data using online survey tools, including the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder questionnaire (GAD-7). We collected qualitative data using open-ended questions to explore people's thoughts, feelings and experiences during the pandemic. Participants were recruited using study posters distributed via prenatal care clinics and classes, LifeLabs and social media across the province. We used thematic and descriptive analyses to analyze the data, and we integrated the qualitative and quantitative findings at the interpretation level. RESULTS: The study sample included 96 participants with mean (± standard deviation) maternal and gestational ages of 32 ± 3.92 years and 22.73 ± 8.93 weeks, respectively. Most (93%; n = 89) identified as female. Of the participants, 54% (n = 50) and 35% (n = 34) reported anxiety and depressive symptoms, as measured by the GAD-7 and EPDS, respectively. Overarching themes that emerged from the qualitative data included uncertainty about birth plans and setting, added burden to existing health and social disparities, perceived or projected lack of support or limited support, concerns about early development, and struggle over managing multiple demands. Perceived maternity care needs included mental health support, maintaining prenatal care, frequent and proactive check-ins to build rapport, and recommendations specific to the pandemic. INTERPRETATION: We found that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the pregnant population has been substantial. The findings of this mixed-methods study can be used to help plan informed and evidence-based health care interventions to mitigate adverse effects and support mothers and families.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Anxiety , COVID-19/psychology , Comorbidity , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Maternal Health Services , Mental Health , Pregnancy , Public Health Surveillance , Stress, Psychological , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
15.
BMJ Open ; 12(2): e056745, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1701076

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: In recent years, Ethiopia has made enormous strides in enhancing access to healthcare, especially, maternal and child healthcare. With the onset and spread of COVID-19, the attention of the healthcare system has pivoted to handling the disease, potentially at the cost of other healthcare needs. This paper explores whether this shift has come at the cost of non-Covid related healthcare, especially the use of maternal and child health (MCH) services. SETTING: Data covering a 24-month period are drawn from 59 health centres and 29 public hospitals located in urban Ethiopia. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOMES MEASURES: The primary outcome measures are the use of MCH services including family planning, antenatal and postnatal care, abortion care, delivery and immunisation. The secondary outcome measures are the use of health services by adults including antiretroviral therapy (ART), tuberculosis (TB) and leprosy and dental services RESULTS: There is a sharp reduction in the use of both inpatient (20%-27%, p<0.001) and outpatient (27%-34%, p<0.001) care, particularly in Addis Ababa, which has been most acutely affected by the virus. This decline does not come at the cost of MCH services. The use of several MCH components (skilled birth attendant deliveries, immunisation, postnatal care) remains unaffected throughout the period while others (family planning services, antenatal care) experience a decline (8%-17%) in the immediate aftermath but recover soon after. CONCLUSION: Concerns about the crowding out of MCH services due to the focus on COVID-19 are unfounded. Proactive measures taken by the government and healthcare facilities to ring-fence the use of essential healthcare services have mitigated service disruptions. The results underline the resilience and agility displayed by one of the world's most resource-constrained healthcare systems. Further research on the approaches used to mitigate disruptions is needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , Adult , Child , Delivery of Health Care , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Female , Health Facilities , Humans , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Prenatal Care , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
16.
J Perinat Neonatal Nurs ; 36(1): 46-54, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691757

ABSTRACT

Maternity care services were significantly altered with the start of the global pandemic in 2020, challenging the ways care was provided for families during childbirth. This qualitative analysis focuses on maternity care professionals' perceptions of the impact of COVID-19 on maternity care in Michigan early in the pandemic. The question "How has COVID-19 impacted your work?" was embedded into a survey focused on maternity unit culture in process across Michigan. Directed content analysis was applied to the open text responses to identify themes. From April-June 2020, 1071 surveys were completed by nurses, physicians, and midwives; 647 (60%) included responses to the COVID-19 question. Five themes emerged: (1) provider health; (2) patient care impact; (3) burdens of personal protective equipment; (4) decreased support during labor due to visitor restrictions; and (5) ethical challenges and moral distress between concerns for self and carrying out professional roles. Maternity care providers in Michigan experienced a range of complex challenges due to the pandemic, with many experiencing conflicts and questioning their role as a provider amid concerns of the effects of COVID-19 on themselves and their families. Resources are necessary to support providers who experience distress to promote well-being and retention of this essential workforce.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Parturition , Pregnancy , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
17.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(2)2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691325

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: In sub-Saharan Africa, referral hospitals are important sources of key maternal health services, especially during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This study prospectively assessed the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal health service utilisation in six large referral hospitals in Guinea, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda during the first year of the pandemic. METHODS: Mixed-methods design combining three data sources: (1) quantitative data based on routine antenatal, childbirth and postnatal care data collected March 2019-February 2021, (2) qualitative data from recurring rounds of semi-structured interviews conducted July 2020-February 2021 with 22 maternity skilled heath personnel exploring their perceptions of service utilisation and (3) timeline data of COVID-19 epidemiology, global, national and hospital-level events. Qualitative and quantitative data were analysed separately, framed based on the timeline analysis and triangulated when reporting. RESULTS: Three periods including a first wave, slow period and second wave were identified. Maternal health service utilisation was lower during the pandemic compared with the prepandemic year in all but one selected referral hospital. During the pandemic, service utilisation was particularly lower during the waves and higher or stable during the slow period. Fear of being infected in hospitals, lack of transportation, and even when available, high cost of transportation and service closures were key reasons affecting utilisation during the waves. However, community perception that the pandemic was over or insinuation by Government of the same appeared to stabilise use of referral hospitals for childbirth. CONCLUSION: Utilisation of maternal health services across the continuum of care varied through the different periods and across countries. In crisis situations such as COVID-19, restrictions and service closures need to be implemented with consideration given to alternative options for women to access and use services. Information on measures put in place for safe hospital use should be communicated to women.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Pregnancy , Referral and Consultation , SARS-CoV-2 , Tanzania
18.
Reprod Health ; 19(1): 42, 2022 Feb 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686018

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In many settings, health care service provision has been modified to managing COVID-19 cases, and this has been affecting the provision of maternal and child health services. The aim of this study was to assess trends in selected maternal and child health services performance in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A cross-sectional data review was conducted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from April to May 2021. Routine health management information system database was reviewed from Addis Ababa Health Bureau for the period from July 2019 to March 2021 across all quarters. Proportion and mean with standard deviation were computed. T-test was used to assess statistically significant differences in services mean performance. RESULTS: Postnatal care  visit, new contraceptives accepters, safe abortion care and number of under-5 years old children treated for pneumonia significantly decreased by 9.3% (p-value 0.04), 20.3% (p-value 0.004), 23.7% (p-value 0.01) and 77.2% (p-value < 0.001), respectively during the first 8 months of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the previous 8 months' average performance. The trends in Antenatal care first visit, new contraceptive accepters, pentavalent-3 vaccination and under-five children treated for pneumonia began to decline in January to  March 2020, a quarter when the COVID-19 pandemic began; with accelerated declines in April to June 2020 following national lockdown. The trends for the stated services began to increase during July-September 2020, the last quarter of national lockdown. Contraceptive accepters and pentavalent-1 vaccination continued to decline and showed no recovery until January-March 2021 when this study was completed. CONCLUSIONS: Most of the maternal and child health services performance declined following the onset of COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown, and most of the services began recovering during July-September 2020, the last quarter of national lockdown. However, new and repeat contraceptive accepters and pentavalent-1 recipients continue to decline and show no recovery during end of the study period. Implementing COVID-19 prevention measures and assuring the community about the safety of service delivery is imperative to ensure continuity of the maternal and child health services. Regular monitoring and evaluation of services performance is required to identify slowly recovering services and respond to potentially volatile changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child Health Services , Maternal Health Services , Child , Child Health , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Bull World Health Organ ; 100(2): 144-154A, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674218

ABSTRACT

Objective: To implement an online system to evaluate the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on maternal and child health and nutrition essential health services in Indonesia. Methods: We developed an electronic monitoring and evaluation system to assist district health offices in making rapid assessments of the impact of COVID-19 on maternal and child health and nutrition programmes in their area and in developing policy and programme responses. This implementation research was conducted from September to December 2020 in 304 districts. The strategies consisted of technical assistance for district offices by 21 partner universities and development of an online dashboard for rapid situation analyses and reporting. We collected qualitative data on feasibility and adherence to the intervention, as well as quantitative data from routine health databases to analyse the impact of COVID-19 on maternal and child health and nutrition indicators. Findings: In the majority of districts key maternal and child health and nutrition services were moderately or severely affected by the pandemic, particularly child growth monitoring and antenatal care services. Adherence to the protocol of the intervention varied across districts but the system is a feasible approach to be scaled up to other regions and health programmes. High uptake by the health ministry, district office and university partners provided the platform with collaborative efforts for health-systems strengthening. Conclusion: The electronic monitoring and evaluation system could be implemented and completed with several modifications to accommodate district offices and universities. There is a potential to scale up the intervention with better implementation planning and training.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child Health Services , Maternal Health Services , Child , Female , Government Programs , Humans , Indonesia , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2
20.
BMJ Open ; 12(1): e051965, 2022 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638359

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To explore stakeholders' and national organisational perspectives on companionship for women/birthing people using antenatal and intrapartum care in England during COVID-19, as part of the Achieving Safe and Personalised maternity care In Response to Epidemics (ASPIRE) COVID-19 UK study. SETTING: Maternity care provision in England. PARTICIPANTS: Interviews were held with 26 national governmental, professional and service-user organisation leads (July-December 2020). Other data included public-facing outputs logged from 25 maternity Trusts (September/October 2020) and data extracted from 78 documents from eight key governmental, professional and service-user organisations that informed national maternity care guidance and policy (February-December 2020). RESULTS: Six themes emerged: 'Postcode lottery of care' highlights variations in companionship and visiting practices between trusts/locations, 'Confusion and stress around 'rules'' relates to a lack of and variable information concerning companionship/visiting, 'Unintended consequences' concerns the negative impacts of restricted companionship or visiting on women/birthing people and staff, 'Need for flexibility' highlights concerns about applying companionship and visiting policies irrespective of need, ''Acceptable' time for support' highlights variations in when and if companionship was 'allowed' antenatally and intrapartum and 'Loss of human rights for gain in infection control' emphasises how a predominant focus on infection control was at a cost to psychological safety and human rights. CONCLUSIONS: Policies concerning companionship and visiting have been inconsistently applied within English maternity services during the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, policies were not justified by the level of risk, and were applied indiscriminately regardless of need. There is an urgent need to determine how to sensitively and flexibly balance risks and benefits and optimise outcomes during the current and future crisis situations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , England , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2
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