Author(s): Esscher A, BinderFinnema P, Bdker B, Hgberg U, MulicLutvica A,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Several European countries report differences in risk of maternal mortality between immigrants from low- and middle-income countries and host country women. The present study identified suboptimal factors related to care-seeking, accessibility, and quality of care for maternal deaths that occurred in Sweden from 1988-2010. METHODS: A subset of maternal death records (n = 75) among foreign-born women from low- and middle-income countries and Swedish-born women were audited using structured implicit review. One case of foreign-born maternal death was matched with two native born Swedish cases of maternal death. An assessment protocol was developed that applied both the 'migration three delays' framework and a modified version of the Confidential Enquiry from the United Kingdom. The main outcomes were major and minor suboptimal factors associated with maternal death in this high-income, low-maternal mortality context. RESULTS: Major and minor suboptimal factors were associated with a majority of maternal deaths and significantly more often to foreign-born women (p = 0.01). The main delays to care-seeking were non-compliance among foreign-born women and communication barriers, such as incongruent language and suboptimal interpreter system or usage. Inadequate care occurred more often among the foreign-born (p = 0.04), whereas delays in consultation/referral and miscommunication between health care providers where equally common between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Suboptimal care factors, major and minor, were present in more than 2/3 of maternal deaths in this high-income setting. Those related to migration were associated to miscommunication, lack of professional interpreters, and limited knowledge about rare diseases and pregnancy complications. Increased insight into a migration perspective is advocated for maternity clinicians who provide care to foreign-born women.
This article was published in BMC Pregnancy Childbirth
and referenced in Tropical Medicine & Surgery