Original Research

Informational continuity by midwives during birth at primary care settings in the Western Cape

Victoria J. Anthony, Anneline E. Robertson, Doreen K.M. Kaura
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 29 | a2432 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v29i0.2432 | © 2024 Victoria Jenine Anthony, Anneline Ernestine Robertson, Doreen Kainyu Mugendi Kaura | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 May 2023 | Published: 29 April 2024

About the author(s)

Victoria J. Anthony, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Anneline E. Robertson, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Doreen K.M. Kaura, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Informational continuity ensures that all health and psychosocial information of the pregnant women is available at all encounters with healthcare providers. The World Health Organization recognised that ineffective informational continuity during birth contributed to fragmented care and duplication of services, which ultimately influenced the morbidity and mortality rates of the pregnant women.

Aim: The aim of this study was to delve into the midwives’ experiences on informational continuity approaches that enable effective care coordination during birth within the primary health care setting.

Setting: The study setting was two maternity obstetric units (MOUs) in the Western Cape, South Africa.

Methods: A qualitative descriptive phenomenological design was used. Participants were recruited by using purposive sampling. Interviews were audiorecorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed.

Results: Three themes emerged from the findings. Theme one: adequate sharing of information with women during the intrapartum period. Theme two: efficient transition of information among midwives and other healthcare providers during the intrapartum period. Theme three: challenges to informational continuity during the intrapartum period.

Conclusion: Communication with the women as well as with other healthcare providers during birth was effective. However, with minimal challenges, informational continuity was effectuated through communication among the midwives, the pregnant women and other healthcare providers.

Contribution: Informational continuity approaches among the midwives, with the women and between healthcare facilities are a prerequisite to ensure continuity of care and care coordination during birth.


Keywords

continuity of care; care coordination; intrapartum period; midwifery led unit; primary health care; informational continuity

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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