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‘When helpers hurt’: women’s and midwives’ stories of obstetric violence in state health institutions, Colombo district, Sri Lanka

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, June 2018
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2 Facebook pages

Citations

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278 Mendeley
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Title
‘When helpers hurt’: women’s and midwives’ stories of obstetric violence in state health institutions, Colombo district, Sri Lanka
Published in
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, June 2018
DOI 10.1186/s12884-018-1869-z
Pubmed ID
Authors

Dinusha Perera, Ragnhild Lund, Katarina Swahnberg, Berit Schei, Jennifer J. Infanti

Abstract

The paper explores how age, social position or class, and linguistic and cultural background intersect and place women in varying positions of control and vulnerability to obstetric violence in state health institutions in Colombo district, Sri Lanka. Obstetric violence occurs during pregnancy, childbirth and the immediate postpartum period; hence, it is violence that directly affects women. The authors aim to break the traditional culture of silence around obstetric violence and bring attention to the resulting implications for quality of care and patient trust in obstetric care facilities or providers. Five focus group discussions were held with 28 public health midwives who had prior experience working in labor rooms. Six focus group discussions were held with 38 pregnant women with previous childbirth experience. Additionally, 10 of the 38 women, whom felt they had experienced excessive pain, fear, humiliation, and/or loss of dignity as patients in labor, participated in individual in-depth interviews. An intersectional framework was used to group the qualitative data into categories and themes for analysis. Obstetric violence appears to intersect with systems of power and oppression linked to structural gender, social, linguistic and cultural inequities in Sri Lanka. In our dataset, younger women, poorer women, and women who did not speak Sinhala seemed to experience more obstetric violence than those with relevant social connections and better economic positions. The women in our study rarely reported obstetric violence to legal or institutional authorities, nor within their informal social support networks. Instead, they sought obstetric care, particularly for childbirth, in other state hospitals in subsequent pregnancies. The quality of obstetric care in Sri Lanka needs improvement. Amongst other initiatives, policies and practices are required to sensitize health providers about the existence of obstetric violence, and repercussions are required for abusive or discriminatory practices. The ethics of care should be further reinforced in the professional training of obstetric health providers.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profile of 1 tweeter who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 278 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 278 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 33 12%
Student > Bachelor 30 11%
Student > Ph. D. Student 27 10%
Researcher 22 8%
Student > Doctoral Student 19 7%
Other 41 15%
Unknown 106 38%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Nursing and Health Professions 65 23%
Medicine and Dentistry 37 13%
Social Sciences 27 10%
Psychology 14 5%
Arts and Humanities 4 1%
Other 18 6%
Unknown 113 41%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 15 July 2019.
All research outputs
#12,393,432
of 16,250,537 outputs
Outputs from BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
#2,468
of 3,001 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#194,889
of 281,590 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
#1
of 1 outputs
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