CONFERENCE PROCEEDING
The impact of exclusion due to Covid-19 restrictions on partners’ satisfaction with Swedish hospital postnatal ward care: a mixed methods approach
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1
Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
 
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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden
 
3
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
 
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Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
 
 
Publication date: 2023-10-24
 
 
Corresponding author
Helen Elden   

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden
 
 
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A1
 
KEYWORDS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
To prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, hospitals around the world adopted protocols that in varying ways resulted in the exclusion of partners from hospital postnatal care wards. The aim with this study was to examine the effect this exclusion had on partners’ satisfaction with postnatal care.

Material and Methods:
An on-line survey (the Swedish Pregnancy Panel) including free text comments was conducted before and during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic; partners of pregnant women were recruited at an early ultrasound appointment and followed until two months after childbirth. Data were linked to the Swedish Pregnancy Register.

Results:
The survey was completed by 524 partners of women who gave birth during the pandemic and 203 partners of women who gave birth before. Partners' satisfaction with hospital postnatal care dropped 29.8 percent (-.94 OLS. 95%CI = -1.17 -.72). The drop was largest for partners of first-time mothers (-1.40 OLS. 95%CI = -1.69 -1.11), but unrelated to clinical outcomes such as mode of birth, and most social backgrounds, except higher income. The qualitative analysis showed that partners 1) Felt excluded, as partners and parents, 2) Thought the strain on staff lead to deficiencies in the care provided, 3) Perceived the decision regarding partner restrictions as illogical.

Conclusions:
The exclusion of partners from the hospital postnatal wards clearly impaired satisfaction with care, and partners of first-time mothers were particularly affected. Planning for future restrictions of partners from hospital wards should factor in these consequences.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
The authors declare no competing interests.
FUNDING
This work was supported by the Swedish Research Council under Grant 2015-01546 and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation under Grant KAW2017.0245.
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