Experiences and satisfaction with intrapartum care: a comparison of normal weight women to obese women

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Finnbogason, Christine
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Obesity is a steadily growing problem, and has both physiological and psychological consequences during pregnancy. Obese women may face discrimination which could shape their perceptions of maternity care. To date, few studies have studied the influence of body weight on patient satisfaction with care. The objectives of this study were: (1) to compare childbirth experiences and satisfaction with intrapartum care of normal weight (BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 kg/m2) and obese (BMI greater than or equal to 30.0 kg/m2) women and (2) to determine factors associated with satisfaction with intrapartum care. Guided by Barker’s (1997) pragmatic model of patient satisfaction, a descriptive comparative and correlational design was used to examine the relationship between childbirth experiences, weight discrimination, and satisfaction with intrapartum care among normal weight and obese women. Postpartum primiparous women (N = 138) in two Winnipeg hospitals completed a questionnaire package and had their chart reviewed (70 normal weight, 68 obese weight). Results: Using independent t-test, no significant differences in satisfaction with intrapartum care or childbirth experiences were found in the two weight groups. In the linear multiple regression model, perceived weight discrimination during labour and delivery was negatively associated (β = -5.78, p = 0.032), while professional support (β = 13.11, p < .001) and perceived control and safety (β = 3.25, p = 0.032) were positively associated with satisfaction with intrapartum care. Understanding factors that influence satisfaction with intrapartum care will assist healthcare providers and administrators to improve satisfaction in all women regardless of their weight.
Satifaction with intrapartum care, Childbirth Experiences, Obesity, Weight discrimination, Patient satisfaction, Intrapartum care