Women's views and experiences of maternity care: A study of immigrant Afghan women in Melbourne, Australia Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: to explore immigrant Afghan women's views and experiences of maternity care in Melbourne, Australia. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: a mixed methods design was used with both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Immigrant Afghan women were recruited from four Melbourne hospitals. Forty women were interviewed by telephone four months after birth, using closed and open-ended questions; and ten participated in further in-depth face-to-face interviews around one year after birth. Thematic analysis was undertaken both of the open-ended questions in the telephone interviews, and the face-to-face interview transcripts. FINDINGS: women were more likely to rate their intrapartum care as very good (70%) compared with antenatal care (49%) and postnatal care (57%). Factors important in women's satisfaction with maternity care were predominantly related to interactions with caregivers, their attitudes and behaviour, and receiving adequate information, explanations and support from staff. In addition, emerging themes from analysis of both telephone and face-to-face interviews regarding women's experiences were: 'interactions with caregivers', 'the organisation of care and the hospital environment' and 'reflections on care at home in Afghanistan'. CONCLUSIONS: Afghan women's experiences of maternity care are similar to findings of previous research with both immigrant and non-immigrant women, demonstrating the key role of caregiver attitudes and behaviour in women's satisfaction with care.

publication date

  • April 2012