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Title: Woman centred care? : an exploration of professional care in midwifery practice
Author: Phillips, Mari
ISNI:       0000 0004 2685 9710
Awarding Body: University of Huddersfield
Current Institution: University of Huddersfield
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis explores what ‘woman centred care’ means to both women and midwives and how this care is offered by midwives and perceived by women. It is set within the context of current health care policy and the way in which this impacts on both the organisation and implementation of maternity care. A flexible qualitative design was used to explore both women’s and midwives’ experiences of current maternity care over the full trajectory of maternity provision. A modified grounded theory approach was used framed within a feminist perspective. The fieldwork was undertaken in two phases. In phase one and interviews were undertaken with twelve women in early pregnancy, later pregnancy and after the birth; a total of twenty-five interviews with women were completed. Nine midwives were also interviewed in phase one. Preliminary and tentative categories were identified from both sets of interviews and were used to inform phase two of the study. Five women participated in the second phase of data collection. This included both informal, telephone contact and in-depth interviews spanning from early pregnancy until after the birth and included observation of their care in labour. The community midwives and delivery suite midwives specifically involved in their care were also interviewed. The data demonstrated a continued mismatch between the women’s and the midwives’ perspectives and it was evident that despite the policy drivers and consumerist rhetoric of ‘woman centred care’ and its original underpinning principles of continuity, choice and control, that this was not the overriding experience for the women who participated in the study. Data analysis highlighted some opportunities for negotiation but these were not explicitly recognised or realised by the women or midwives and there was little time or flexibility in the system to accommodate such opportunities. The increasing bureaucracy of the maternity care system also constrains continuity of carer over the full spectrum of the childbearing trajectory and reduces the potential for women to know the midwife who provided care. Thus for many midwives being ‘with the institution’ was more likely than ‘being ‘with woman’.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RT Nursing ; RJ Pediatrics