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Original Articles

The perception of midwives regarding psychosocial risk assessment during antenatal care

Johanna M. Mathibe-Neke, Allan Rothberg, Gayle Langley

Health SA Gesondheid; Vol 19, No 1 (2014), 9 pages. doi: 10.4102/hsag.v19i1.742

Submitted: 16 April 2013
Published:  22 May 2014

Abstract

Background: The physiological and psychological changes caused by pregnancy may increase a woman’s vulnerability to depression, which may in turn have adverse effects on both maternal and foetal wellbeing. Inadequate psychosocial risk assessment of women by midwives may lead to lack of psychosocial support during pregnancy and childbirth. Pregnant women who lack psychosocial support may experience stress, anxiety and depression that could possibly affect foetal wellbeing.

Objective: The objective of this study was to explore and describe the perception of psychosocial risk assessment and psychosocial care by midwives providing antenatal care to pregnant women.

Method: An interpretive and descriptive qualitative approach was adopted. Three focus group interviews were conducted with midwives working in three Maternal Obstetric Units in Gauteng Province, using a semi-structured interview guide. The constant comparison data analysis approach was used.

Results: Findings revealed that midwives are aware of and have encountered a high prevalence of psychosocial problems in pregnant women. Furthermore, they acknowledged the importance of psychosocial care for pregnant women although they stated that they were not equipped adequately to offer psychosocial assessment and psychosocial care.

Conclusion: The findings provided a basis for incorporation of psychosocial care into routine antenatal care.

 

Agtergrond: Die fisiologiese en psigologiese veranderings wat deur swangerskap veroorsaak word, kan ‘n vrou se kwetsbaarheid vir depressie verhoog. Dit kan op sy beurt negatiewe gevolge vir sowel die moeder as die fetus se welstand hê. As vroedvroue nie voldoende psigososiale riskio-assesserings op swanger vrouens doen nie, kan dit tot ‘n gebrek aan psigososiale ondersteuning tydens die swangerskap en geboorte lei. Swanger vrouens wat ‘n gebrek aan psigososiale ondersteuning het, kan stres, angs en depressie ervaar wat weer die fetus se welstand kan beïnvloed.

Doelwit: Die doelwit van hierdie studie was om die persepsies van vroedvroue, wat voorgeboortesorg aan swanger vrouens bied, te ondersoek en te beskryf sover dit hulle persepsies oor psigososiale risiko-assessering en psigososiale aangaan.

Metode: ’n Interpretatiewe en beskrywende kwalitatiewe benadering is gevolg. Drie fokusgroep-onderhoude is deur middel van ‘n gestruktureerde onderhoudsgids gevoer met verloskundiges wat in drie voorgeboorteklinieke in die Gauteng Provinsie werksaam is. ’n Benadering tot data-analise wat van voortdurende vergelyking gebruik maak, is gevolg.

Resultate: Die studie het aan die lig gebring dat verloskundiges bewus is van psigososiale probleme onder swanger vroue en dat die prevalensie van sulke probleme onder swanger vroue hoog is. Vroedvroue erken die belang van psigososiale sorg aan swanger vroue alhoewel hulle nie toereikend toegerus is om psigososiale assessering en -sorg te verleen nie.

Gevolgtrekking: Die bevindinge stel ’n basis daar vir die insluiting van psigososiale sorg in roetine voorgeboortesorg.


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Author affiliations

Johanna M. Mathibe-Neke, Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa
Allan Rothberg, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
Gayle Langley, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand

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