Adapting the Quality Maternal and Newborn Care (QMNC) Framework to evaluate models of antenatal care: A pilot study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
PLoS ONE, 2018, 13 (8)
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© 2018 Symon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background Recent evidence indicates that continuity models of maternity care result in improved clinical and psychosocial outcomes, but their causal mechanisms are poorly understood. The recent Lancet Series on Midwifery’s Quality Maternal and Newborn Care Framework describes five components of quality care and their associated characteristics. As an initial step in developing this Framework into an evaluation toolkit, we transformed its components and characteristics into a topic guide to assess stakeholder perceptions and experiences of care provided and received. The main purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of this process. Methods We conducted twelve focus groups in two Scottish health board areas with 13 pregnant women, 18 new mothers, 26 midwives and 12 obstetricians who had experience of a range of different models of maternity care. Transcripts were analysed using a six-phase approach of thematic analysis. We mapped the identified themes and sub-themes back to the Framework. Results The emerging themes and sub-themes demonstrated the feasibility of using the QMNC framework as a data collection tool, and as a lens for analysing the data. Of the four emerging themes, only Organisation Culture / Work Structure’ mapped directly to a single Framework component. The others—‘Relationships’; ‘Information and support’; and ‘Uncertainty’–mapped to between two and five components, illustrating the interconnectedness of the Framework’s components. Some negative sub-themes mirrored positive Framework characteristics of care. Some re-phrasing and re-ordering of the topic guides in later focus groups ensured we could cover all aspects of the Framework adequately. Conclusion Adapting the Quality Maternal and Newborn Care Framework enabled us to focus on aspects of care which worked well and which didn’t work well for these key stakeholders. Identifying ‘what works for whom and why’ in different models of care is a necessary step in reinforcing and replicating the most effective models of care.
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