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Women's satisfaction with maternity health care services in Finland

, : Women's satisfaction with maternity health care services in Finland. Social Science & Medicine 37(5): 633-638

The purpose of this study was to describe the Finnish maternity health care system and to determine the level of satisfaction in general with maternity health care services and specifically with hospital clinic visits in Helsinki, Finland. Information was collected using both interviews (N = 63) and questionnaires (N = 408). Care during pregnancy takes place in maternity centers, and risk pregnancies are referred to hospital clinics for consultation. The maternity health care system in Finland is regarded internationally as effective and well functioning. In recent years, however, increasingly more prenatal visits have taken place in hospital clinics. This change may lead to a system similar to Great Britain's where a large part of prenatal care takes place in hospital clinics. Although the women in this study are satisfied in general with the content of maternity health care services and regard them necessary for their well-being during pregnancy, data also indicated that women are more satisfied with visits to maternity centers than with visits to hospital clinics. The factors women complained most about in hospital clinic visits, were long waiting times, unsatisfactory doctor-patient communication, the 'assembly-line' routine of the clinic, and seeing a different doctor at each visit. The lack of social and psychological support involved in the care given at hospital clinics was also evident. In planning and evaluating maternity health care, it is important to consider women's views and experiences.


PMID: 8211277

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