Whose decision? Caesarean section and women with physical disabilities in Northern Vietnam: A qualitative study

Article


Nguyen, Thi Vinh, King, Julie, Edwards, Niki and Dunne, Michael P.. 2022. "Whose decision? Caesarean section and women with physical disabilities in Northern Vietnam: A qualitative study." Midwifery. 104, pp. 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2021.103175
Article Title

Whose decision? Caesarean section and women with physical disabilities in Northern Vietnam: A qualitative study

ERA Journal ID14134
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsNguyen, Thi Vinh (Author), King, Julie (Author), Edwards, Niki (Author) and Dunne, Michael P. (Author)
Journal TitleMidwifery
Journal Citation104, pp. 1-6
Article Number103175
Number of Pages6
Year2022
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0266-6138
1532-3099
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2021.103175
Web Address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0266613821002552
Abstract

Background: Pregnant women with physical disabilities are more likely to have caesarean sections than are women without disabilities. For some women with disabilities, caesarean birth may not be clinically necessary, as they may lack autonomy in decision-making to a greater extent than is the case for other pregnant women.

Objective: To explore the relative influence of health staff, family, friends, and the women themselves on key decisions about childbirth of women with physical disabilities in northern Vietnam.

Research design/setting: A qualitative approach using a phenomenological design was employed. Fifty-six in-depth interviews were conducted with women with physical disabilities who had given birth in the previous three years in two northern provinces in Vietnam (Hanoi and Thaibinh). Twenty-nine women participated in a first interview and 27 completed follow-up interviews several months later. Additionally, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 maternal healthcare providers. Interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed.

Results: Twenty-eight of the 29 participants underwent caesarean sections. Two themes were identified: (1) The women reported that caesarean section was mandated by attending doctors 'because of their disability'. Consistently, the healthcare providers said caesarean section is essential for women with physical disabilities; and (2) The women said that their parents and peers supported caesarean birth. Very few women indicated that they could influence this decision, even though one-third said their personal preference was for vaginal birth.

Conclusions: Many women with physical disabilities are not given the opportunity to exercise informed choices around childbirth options. Women in Vietnam who live with physical disabilities should be empowered to make informed decisions about childbirth. It is recommended that professional guidelines and training are revised to properly engage women with physical disabilities in joint decision-making for the birth of their children.

KeywordsBirthing options; Caesarean section; Choices; Qualitative research; Vietnam; Women with physical disabilities
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420318. People with disability
420401. Clinical midwifery
321502. Obstetrics and gynaecology
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Byline AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology
Hue University, Vietnam
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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