Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Curtin M.;Savage E.;Murphy M.;Leahy-Warren P.
Women and Birth
A meta-synthesis of the perspectives and experiences of healthcare professionals on the humanisation of childbirth using a meta-ethnographic approach
WOS: 1 ()
Optional Fields
Healthcare professional Humanisation Labour Meta-synthesis Parturition Pregnancy high-risk Qualitative
Problem: The humanisation of childbirth has been identified as a practice of care focusing on the physical, psychological, and emotional wellbeing of women. Healthcare professionals (HCPs) are expected to understand and embed humanised practice when supporting women in childbirth. Aim: The aim of this paper is to present a meta-synthesis of the experiences and perspectives of HCPs who undertake care for women at the time of birth regarding the humanisation of childbirth. Methods: A systematic search of the electronic databases CINAHL, Medline, PsycINFO, and SocINDEX were conducted in July 2020. Qualitative studies exploring HCPs’ experiences and perspectives of humanisation in childbirth were eligible. Studies were synthesised using a meta-ethnographic approach. Findings: Fourteen studies involving 197 participants were included. Two themes were identified: ‘Women at the centre’ and ‘Professional dissonance’. Two line of argument synthesis were identified: ‘invisible boundaries’ and ‘unconscious undermining’. Discussion: HCPs recognised that women required positive interactions which met both their emotional and physical needs. Human touch supported bonding between HCPs and women. HCPs understood humanisation as the reduction of unnecessary intervention and/or technology but had difficulties enacting this and often used disempowering language when discussing women's choices. The management of pain and the presence of a companion were considered important by HCPs. Conclusion: This synthesis revealed that HCPs do understand the humanisation of childbirth but have difficulties in enacting it in practice. Women classified as high risk were identified as having specific needs such as increased emotional support. Further research is required for women classified as high risk who may require technology and/or interventions to maintain a safe birth.
Grant Details