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1.  What women want: qualitative analysis of consumer evaluations of maternity care in Queensland, Australia 
Background
Maternity care reform plans have been proposed at state and national levels in Australia, but the extent to which these respond to maternity care consumers’ expressed needs is unclear. This study examines open-text survey comments to identify women’s unmet needs and priorities for maternity care. It is then considered whether these needs and priorities are addressed in current reform plans.
Methods
Women who had a live single or multiple birth in Queensland, Australia, in 2010 (n 3,635) were invited to complete a retrospective self-report survey. In addition to questions about clinical and interpersonal maternity care experiences from pregnancy to postpartum, women were asked an open-ended question “Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about having your baby?” This paper describes a detailed thematic analysis of open-ended responses from a random selection of 150 women (10% of 1,510 who responded to the question).
Results
Four broad themes emerged relevant to improving women’s experiences of maternity care: quality of care (interpersonal and technical); access to choices and involvement in decision-making; unmet information needs; and dissatisfaction with the care environment. Some of these topics are reflected in current reform goals, while others provide evidence of the need for further reforms.
Conclusions
The findings reinforce the importance of some existing maternity reform objectives, and describe how these might best be met. Findings affirm the importance of information provision to enable informed choices; a goal of Queensland and national reform agendas. Improvement opportunities not currently specified in reform agendas were also identified, including the quality of interpersonal relationships between women and staff, particular unmet information needs (e.g., breastfeeding), and concerns regarding the care environment (e.g., crowding and long waiting times).
doi:10.1186/s12884-014-0366-2
PMCID: PMC4216658  PMID: 25344778
Hospitals; Birth; Consumer participation; Midwifery; Postnatal care; Evaluation; Service improvement; Reform
2.  ‘Choice, culture and confidence’: key findings from the 2012 having a baby in Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survey 
Background
To describe the maternity care experiences of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander women in Queensland, Australia and to identify areas for policy and practice improvements.
Methods
A culturally-tailored survey requesting both quantitative and qualitative information was completed by respondents either independently (online or in hard copy) or with the assistance of a trained peer-interviewer. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis.
Eligible women were over 16 years of age, identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, resided in Queensland, and had a live, singleton birth between the first of July 2011 and the first of July 2012.
Results
187 women of 207 respondents were included in analyses. Women reported high rates of stressful life events in pregnancy, low levels of choice in place of birth and model of care and limited options to carry out cultural practices. High levels of confidence in parenting were also reported. Women were less likely to report being treated with kindness, understanding and respect by maternity care staff than women answering a similar mainstream survey.
Conclusions
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have additional needs to mainstream Australian women. This study identified a number of recommendations to improve services including the need to enhance the cultural competence of maternity services; increase access to continuity of midwifery care models, facilitate more choices in care, work with the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, families and communities, and engage women in the design and delivery of care.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-196
PMCID: PMC4012088  PMID: 24884930
Birthing on country; Indigenous; Aboriginal; Torres Strait Islander; Maternity care
3.  Re-interpreting the data on the cost and effectiveness of population screening for colorectal cancer in Australia 
Three studies report estimates of the cost and effectiveness of alternate strategies for screening the average-risk Australian population for colorectal cancer. The options considered are faecal occult blood testing, double contrast barium enema, sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. At present, there is no consensus over which screening method is optimal by the economic criterion. Also, the existing studies report a mixture of average and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios derived from data collected between 1994 and 2002. We suggest average cost-effectiveness ratios are not useful for decision-making and illustrate how they differ from the preferred incremental cost-effectiveness ratio. We then update the cost data reported in the three studies to 2002 prices and calculate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios where not previously available. Our re-analysis of one study contradicts the conclusions drawn by the authors, who had only calculated average cost-effectiveness ratios. In particular, we find their recommendation of population screening with colonoscopy would cause, annually, between 33 and 1,322 years of life to be lost and between $M17 and $M87 to be wasted. Based on updated cost data and the incremental analysis, our findings indicate that population screening using biennial faecal occult blood testing ($39,459 per life-year gained), annual faecal occult blood testing ($30,556 per life-year gained) and colonoscopy ($26,587 per life-year gained) are cost-effective. Hence, the decision over which method of screening is optimal remains ambiguous across the three studies. We recommend policy-makers choose the study they believe produces the most accurate estimates of cost and health effect, identify their willingness to pay for health benefits and consider other issues relevant to the decision.
doi:10.1186/1743-8462-2-10
PMCID: PMC1173078  PMID: 15904536

Results 1-3 (3)