Community midwives' perspectives on perinatal care for asylum seekers and refugees in the Netherlands: A survey study

A.E.H. Verschuuren*, J.B. Tankink*, A. Franx, P.J.A. van der Lans, J.J.H.M. Erwich, E.I. Feijen-de Jong, J.P. de Graaf

*Corresponding author voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

1 Citaat (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The rise of forced migration worldwide compels birth care systems and professionals to respond to the needs of women giving birth in these vulnerable situations. However, little is known about the perspective of midwifery professionals on providing perinatal care for forcibly displaced women. This study aimed to identify challenges and target areas for improvement of community midwifery care for asylum seekers (AS) and refugees with a residence permit (RRP) in the Netherlands.

Methods: For this cross-sectional study, data were collected through a survey aimed at community care midwives who currently work or who have worked with AS and RRP. We evaluated challenges identified through an inductive thematic analysis of respondents' responses to open-ended questions. Quantitative data from close-ended questions were analyzed descriptively and included aspects related to the quality and organization of perinatal care for these groups.

Results: Respondents generally considered care for AS and RRP to be of lower quality, or at best, equal quality compared to care for the Dutch population, while the workload for midwives caring for these groups was considered higher. The challenges identified were categorized into five main themes, including: 1) interdisciplinary collaboration; 2) communication with clients; 3) continuity of care; 4) psychosocial care; and 5) vulnerabilities among AS and RRP.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that there is considerable opportunity for improvement in perinatal care for AS and RRP, while also providing direction for future research and interventions. Several concerns raised, especially the availability of professional interpreters and relocations of AS during pregnancy, require urgent consideration at legislative, policy, and practice levels.
Originele taal-2English
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 16-jun.-2023


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