Experiences of Antenatal Care Among Women Who Are Socioeconomically Deprived in High-Income Industrialized Countries: An Integrative Review.

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Socioeconomic deprivation in high-income industrialized countries is a key factor in poor perinatal outcomes. Limited access, utilization, and quality of antenatal care seem to play an important role in poor perinatal outcomes.


This integrative review aimed to explore experiences of antenatal care among women who are socioeconomically deprived in high-income industrialized countries. A search was conducted using 5 databases for articles published from 2004 to 2014. Six qualitative and 3 quantitative articles were selected. These were systematically appraised for quality independently by 3 researchers. Relevant themes were identified and organized into categories.


The disadvantages experienced in antenatal care by women who are socioeconomically deprived start before the first contact with health care services and are notable throughout the entire pregnancy. There is disparity in choice of medical or midwifery service provision models. Six categories emerged during review: choice of service provision model, feeling valued, various types of discrimination, structural and interpersonal accessibility, comprehensibility and trustworthiness of information, and engagement and sense of responsibility. Categories underscored the importance of the woman's relationship with the antenatal care provider.


Antenatal care models with women-centered approaches and continuity of care, such as midwifery models, have potential to increase the satisfaction of women with low socioeconomic status with care; this may increase antenatal care utilization and improve perinatal outcomes.

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