REPORT: Women’s satisfaction with care at the birthplace in Austria: Evaluation of the Babies Born Better survey national dataset

The report has been authored be Karolina Luegmair, Christoph Zenzmaie, Claudia Oblasser and Martina König-Bachmann.

The report can be downloaded here.

It highlights:

Women participating in the postnatal Babies Born Better Survey were mostly satisfied with perinatal care in Austria.

Shortcomings particularly exist in antenatal and puerperal care and counselling.

The established coding framework might serve as a basis for cross-country comparisons within the international Babies Born Better Project.

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate women’s satisfaction with care at the birthplace in Austria and to provide reference data for cross-country comparisons within the international Babies Born Better project.

Design

A cross-sectional design was applied. The data were extracted from the Babies Born Better Survey as a national sub-dataset that included all participants with Austria as the indicated country of residence.

Setting

An online survey targeting women who had given birth within the last five years and distributed primarily via social media. In addition to sociodemographic and closed-ended questions regarding pregnancy and the childbirth environment, the women’s childbirth experiences and satisfaction with the birthplace were obtained with three open-ended questions regarding (i) best experience of care, (ii) required changes in care and (iii) honest description of the experienced care.

Participants

Five hundred thirty-nine women who had given birth in Austria within the last five years.

Measurements and findings

Based on the concepts of public health, salutogenesis and self-efficacy, a deductive coding framework was developed and applied to analyse the qualitative data of the Babies Born Better survey. Regarding honest descriptions of the experienced care at the birthplace, 82% were positive, indicating that most of the respondents were mostly satisfied with the care experienced. More than 95% of the survey participants’ positive experiences and more than 87% of their negative experiences with care could be assigned to the categories of the deductive coding framework. Whereas positive experiences mainly addressed care experienced at the individual level, negative experiences more frequently related to issues of the existing infrastructure, breastfeeding counselling or topics not covered by the coding framework. Evaluation of these unassigned responses revealed an emphasis on antenatal and puerperal care as well as insufficient reimbursements of expenses by health insurance funds and the desire for more midwifery-led care.

Key conclusions

Although the participating women were mostly satisfied with perinatal care in Austria, it appears that shortcomings particularly exist in antenatal and puerperal care and counselling.

Implications for research

The established coding framework that covered the vast majority of the women’s responses to the open-ended questions might serve as a basis for cross-country comparisons within the international Babies Born Better project.

 

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