The Maternity Care Needs of, and Service Provision for, Chinese Migrant Women in Brisbane

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Barns, Paul
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Wenzel, Eberhard
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1999
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Abstract

In Australia, there are significant differences in the perinatal health of non-English speaking background (NESB) women compared with that of English speaking background and Australia born (except for Aborigines). A recent preliminary study of Chinese migrant communities in Brisbane has shown that health and wellbeing of new mothers during the postnatal period is a growing concern. This suggests the necessity of research into the maternity needs of Chinese migrant women and whether or not these needs are being fulfilled by maternity care services in Australia. In order to explore in depth the experiences of both the consumers and the providers, this study adopted a need assessment approach and employed a variety of qualitative techniques: focus group discussion, in-depth interviews with twenty Chinese migrant mothers, obstetricians, midwives, nurses and community key informants, and participant observation in antenatal classes and four birth deliveries. The study found unmet needs in four major areas: community and social support; cross-cultural communication; accessibility of information on health and services; and cultural appropriateness of service provision. Apart from general recommendations of service improvement in relation to the above four areas, the study has provided practical strategies such as bilingual cards for communication in emergency birth delivery situations. The findings of this study should have important implications for improving cultural sensitivity and appropriateness for service provision for other NESB migrant groups in Australia.

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Thesis (Masters)
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Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
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School of Public Health
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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.
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Subject
Maternity health
Childbirth
Culture and health
Need assessment
Chinese migrant women
Chinese culture
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