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Oxford University Press, European Journal of Public Health, 5(31), p. 951-957, 2021

DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckab125



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Equitable migrant-friendly perinatal healthcare access and quality in public maternity units in Portugal

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


Abstract Background Migrant women are at higher risk to face access barriers to perinatal care services and to experience worse pregnancy outcomes compared to native. Assessing the perception of migrant women and health providers discloses a multifaceted view on migrant-friendly care, a multidimensional concept in itself. This study aims to compare self-perceived assessments of migrant women and directors of obstetrics and gynaecology (GYN/OBS) departments on equitable migrant-friendly perinatal healthcare quality and access during the intrapartum and postpartum period at public maternities in Portugal. Methods In this cross-sectional study, two indicators on Healthcare access and Quality of care were developed to compare how adult migrant women who gave birth between April 2017 and March 2019 and GYN/OBS department directors assessed offered care. The one-sample Wilcoxon test was used to compare directors’ with migrants’ assessments and the Kruskal–Wallis one-way analysis of variance to test for country regional differences. A stratified analysis by sex, spoken language, and country of birth tested for potential effect modifiers. Results Migrants rated Healthcare access significantly better (P<0.05), but perceived Quality of care worse (P<0.01) than GYN/OBS department directors. Migrants’ and directors’ perceptions differed significantly according to directors’ gender (P<0.05). Migrants’ and directors’ assessments on Healthcare access (P<0.05) and Quality (P<0.01) changed significantly across regions. Conclusions Migrants’ and directors’ self-perceived appraisal of Healthcare access and Quality of care significantly varied. Identifying these discordances allows to deliver insights into existing barriers in access and provision of care and raises awareness to improve quality assurance, essential to inform practice and policies.