August 1, 2020

Perspectives and Experiences of Obstetricians Who Provide Labor and Delivery Care for Micronesian Women in Hawai’i: What Is Driving Cesarean Delivery Rates?

Rebecca Delafield, Jennifer Elia, Ann Chang, Bliss Kaneshiro, Tetine Sentell, Catherine M Pirkle

Pending PubMed Central Publication
Qualitative Health Research

Access to cesarean delivery is vital for quality obstetrical care, but the procedure can increase maternal mortality, morbidity, and complications in subsequent deliveries. The objective of this study was to describe obstetrician–gynecologists’ (OB-GYNs) perspectives on labor and delivery care for Micronesian women in Hawai‘i and possible factors contributing to higher cesarean delivery rates among that racial/ethnic group. The Framework Method guided the analysis of 13 semi-structured interviews with OB-GYNs. Study results indicated that OB-GYNs were more likely to attribute racial/ethnic differences in mode of delivery to challenges resulting from nonmedical factors, particularly communication and negative attitudes toward Micronesian patients, than to medical risk factors. In this study, we explored aspects of care that cannot be captured in medical charts or clinical data, but may impact health outcomes for this population. The findings could help improve care for Micronesian women, with lessons applicable to other racial/ethnic minority groups.

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