Exploring ethnic minority women’s experiences of maternity care during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: a qualitative study

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Abstract / Description of output

Objective: To explore the experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, antenatal and postnatal care in women belonging to ethnic minorities and to identify any specific challenges that these women faced during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Design: This was a qualitative study using semistructured interviews of pregnant women or those who were 6 weeks postnatal from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. The study included 16 women in a predominantly urban Scottish health board area.

Results: The finding are presented in four themes: ‘communication’, ‘interactions with healthcare professionals’, ‘racism’ and ‘the pandemic effect’. Each theme had relevant subthemes. ‘Communication’ encompassed respect, accent bias, language barrier and cultural dissonance; ‘interactions with healthcare professionals’: continuity of care, empathy, informed decision making and dissonance with other healthcare systems; ‘racism’ was deemed to be institutional, interpersonal or internalised; and ‘the pandemic effect’ consisted of isolation, psychological impact and barriers to access of care.

Conclusions: This study provides insight into the specific challenges faced by ethnic minority women in pregnancy, which intersect with the unique problems posed by the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to potentially widen existing ethnic disparities in maternal outcomes and experiences of maternity care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Open
Volume11
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2021

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