Midwives' knowledge and attitudes about perinatal care for women with disabilities
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Department of Midwifery, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
Rea Maternity Hospital, Athens, Greece
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Athina Diamanti   

Department of Midwifery, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A126
Women with disabilities face a lot of barriers in their everyday life including those in perinatal care1–4. Midwives have a significant role in the provision of perinatal care and their knowledge and attitudes can have a great impact on health services and women’ experiences during such an important period of their lives5-8. However, according to research up to now, there is no adequate datainvestigation on midwives’ behavior and awareness of how to deal with a pregnant disabled woman. The purpose of this study is to investigate the knowledge and attitudes of midwives towards perinatal care for women with disabilities in Greece.

Material and Methods:
The study utilized a cross-sectional design and collected data through self-administered questionnaires. The sample consisted of 149 midwives recruited from hospitals, birth centers, health centers and clinics using purposive sampling. The questionnaires were developed based on a literature review and consisted of closed-ended and open-ended questions covering topics related to midwives' knowledge of perinatal care, attitudes towards women, and perception of their role in providing care. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented in a report. The study adhered to ethical guidelines, and informed consent was obtained from all participants. Confidentiality and anonymity were ensured throughout the study.

The results showed that midwives had limited knowledge of perinatal care for women with disabilities and lacked training and education in this area. They also had low scores on attitudes towards women with disabilities, which could impact the quality of care provided. In addition, 30.9% of the participants thought that there are people in their working environment that discourage disabled women from getting pregnant or have negative/ judgmental behavior towards disabled pregnant women. The majority of participants, (95.3%) believed in the right of women with disabilities to give birth. Almost all participants (96.6%) stated that they consider further training, specialization necessary for all medical and nursing staff in perinatal care for the disabled, with 20.1% of them stating that it should be done in an undergraduate level. The study found that the lack of services, specially adapted to the needs of disabled women, was the greatest obstacle.

The study highlighted the need for further education and training to improve the quality of care provided to women during the perinatal period. The findings of this study provide valuable information in relation to the knowledge and attitudes of midwives on providing adequate perinatal care to women with disabilities in Greece. The results contribute to the development of strategies to improve the quality of perinatal care and identify barriers that exist and limit optimal treatment and care for these women.

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