Somali refugee women's experiences of maternity care in west London: a case study

Harper Bulman, Kate and McCourt, Christine (2002) Somali refugee women's experiences of maternity care in west London: a case study. Critical Public Health, 12 (4). pp. 365-380. ISSN 1469-3682

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This article reports a study of the maternity care experiences of Somali refugee women in an area of west London. This small case study formed a discrete part of a wider study of women's responses to two systems of maternity care. Qualitative research methods involving semi-structured interviews and focus groups were used. Interviews were carried out with Somali women who had recent experience of the maternity services, with health professionals who had contact with Somali women in their work, and with a Trust employee involved in the provision of language support. The findings confirmed much of the available research evidence on other ethnic minorities' contacts with the maternity services. Many of these women are not gaining equal access to maternity services due to inadequate provision of interpreting services, stereotyping and racism from health service staff, and a lack of understanding from staff of cultural differences. A further issue found to affect the Somali women was poor management of female genital mutilation (FGM) in pregnancy and labour. This article focuses particularly on communication and language support as language was found to be the single most important issue for the Somali women in their contacts with the maternity services, with communication difficulties having negative implications for all aspects of their care.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1080/0958159021000029568
Keywords: Maternity care; Maternity services; Somali women; Refugees
Subjects: Medicine and health > Midwifery
Medicine and health > Nursing
Depositing User: Rod Pow
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2012 11:54
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:39

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