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Effectiveness of interventions to provide culturally-appropriate maternity care in increasing uptake of skilled maternity care: a systematic review

Coast, Ernestina ORCID: 0000-0002-8703-307X, Jones, Eleri, Lattof, Samantha R. and Portela, Anayda (2016) Effectiveness of interventions to provide culturally-appropriate maternity care in increasing uptake of skilled maternity care: a systematic review. Health Policy and Planning, 31 (10). pp. 1479-1491. ISSN 0268-1080

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Identification Number: 10.1093/heapol/czw065


Addressing cultural factors that affect uptake of skilled maternity care is recognised as an important step in improving maternal and newborn health. This paper describes a systematic review to examine the evidence available on the effects of interventions to provide culturally-appropriate maternity care on the use of skilled maternity care during pregnancy, for birth or in the postpartum period. Items published in English, French and/or Spanish between 1 January 1990 and 31 March 2014 were considered. Fifteen studies describing a range of interventions met the inclusion criteria. Data were extracted on population and intervention characteristics; study design; definitions and data for relevant outcomes; and the contexts and conditions in which interventions occurred. Because most of the included studies focus on antenatal care outcomes, evidence of impact is particularly limited for care seeking for birth and after birth. Evidence in this review is clustered within a small number of countries, and evidence from low- and middle-income countries is notably lacking. Interventions largely had positive effects on uptake of skilled maternity care. Cultural factors are often not the sole factor affecting populations’ use of maternity care services. Broader social, economic, geographical and political factors interacted with cultural factors to affect targeted populations’ access to services in included studies. Programmes and policies should seek to establish an enabling environment and support respectful dialogue with communities to improve use of skilled maternity care. Whilst issues of culture are being recognised by programmes and researchers as being important, interventions that explicitly incorporate issues of culture are rarely evaluated.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
LSE Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Research centres and groups > LSE Health
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2016 16:47
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2021 05:39

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