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1.  “Being Flexible and Creative”: A Qualitative Study on Maternity Care Assistants' Experiences with Non-Western Immigrant Women 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91843.
Several studies conducted in developed countries have explored postnatal care professionals' experiences with non-western women. These studies reported different cultural practices, lack of knowledge of the maternity care system, communication difficulties, and the important role of the baby's grandmother as care-giver in the postnatal period. However, not much attention has been paid in existing literature to postnatal care professionals' approaches to these issues. Our main objective was to gain insight into how Dutch postnatal care providers - ‘maternity care assistants’ (MCA) - address issues encountered when providing care for non-western women.
A generic qualitative research approach was used. Two researchers interviewed fifteen MCAs individually, analysing the interview material separately and then comparing and discussing their results. Analytical codes were organised into main themes and subthemes.
MCAs perceive caring for non-western women as interesting and challenging, but sometimes difficult too. To guarantee the health and safety of mother and baby, they have adopted flexible and creative approaches to address issues concerning traditional practices, socioeconomic status and communication. Furthermore, they employ several other strategies to establish relationships with non-western clients and their families, improve women's knowledge of the maternity care system and give health education.
Provision of postnatal care to non-western clients may require special skills and measures. The quality of care for non-western clients might be improved by including these skills in education and retraining programmes for postnatal care providers on top of factual knowledge about traditional practices.
PMCID: PMC3951471  PMID: 24622576
2.  How Technology in Care at Home Affects Patient Self-Care and Self-Management: A Scoping Review 
The use of technology in care at home has potential benefits such as improved quality of care. This includes greater focus on the patients’ role in managing their health and increased patient involvement in the care process. The objective of this scoping review is to analyse the existing evidence for effects of technology in home-based care on patients’ self-care and self-management. Using suitable search terms we searched the databases of Pubmed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Cinahl, Picarta and NIVEL dating from 2002 to 2012. Thirty-three studies (six review studies and twenty-seven individual studies) were selected. Effects were extracted from each study and were classified. In almost all the studies, the concepts self-care and self-management are not clearly defined or operationalized. Therefore, based on a meta-analysis, we made a new classification of outcome measures, with hierarchical levels: (1) competence (2) illness-management (3) independence (social participation, autonomy). In general, patient outcomes appear to be positive or promising, but most studies were pilot studies. We did not find strong evidence that technology in care at home has (a positive) effect on patient self-care and self-management according to the above classification. Future research is needed to clarify how technology can be used to maximize its benefits.
PMCID: PMC3863859  PMID: 24173139
self-care; self-management; technology; care at home; scoping review
3.  Factors affecting the use of prenatal care by non-western women in industrialized western countries: a systematic review 
Despite the potential of prenatal care for addressing many pregnancy complications and concurrent health problems, non-western women in industrialized western countries more often make inadequate use of prenatal care than women from the majority population do. This study aimed to give a systematic review of factors affecting non-western women’s use of prenatal care (both medical care and prenatal classes) in industrialized western countries.
Eleven databases (PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, Cochrane, Sociological Abstracts, Web of Science, Women’s Studies International, MIDIRS, CINAHL, Scopus and the NIVEL catalogue) were searched for relevant peer-reviewed articles from between 1995 and July 2012. Qualitative as well as quantitative studies were included. Quality was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Factors identified were classified as impeding or facilitating, and categorized according to a conceptual framework, an elaborated version of Andersen’s healthcare utilization model.
Sixteen articles provided relevant factors that were all categorized. A number of factors (migration, culture, position in host country, social network, expertise of the care provider and personal treatment and communication) were found to include both facilitating and impeding factors for non-western women’s utilization of prenatal care. The category demographic, genetic and pregnancy characteristics and the category accessibility of care only included impeding factors.
Lack of knowledge of the western healthcare system and poor language proficiency were the most frequently reported impeding factors. Provision of information and care in women’s native languages was the most frequently reported facilitating factor.
The factors found in this review provide specific indications for identifying non-western women who are at risk of not using prenatal care adequately and for developing interventions and appropriate policy aimed at improving their prenatal care utilization.
PMCID: PMC3626532  PMID: 23537172
4.  Evaluation of primary care midwifery in the Netherlands: design and rationale of a dynamic cohort study (DELIVER) 
In the Netherlands, midwives are autonomous medical practitioners and 78% of pregnant women start their maternity care with a primary care midwife. Scientific research to support evidence-based practice in primary care midwifery in the Netherlands has been sparse. This paper describes the research design and methodology of the multicenter multidisciplinary prospective DELIVER study which is the first large-scale study evaluating the quality and provision of primary midwifery care.
Between September 2009 and April 2011, data were collected from clients and their partners, midwives and other healthcare professionals across the Netherlands. Clients from twenty midwifery practices received up to three questionnaires to assess the expectations and experiences of clients (e.g. quality of care, prenatal screening, emotions, health, and lifestyle). These client data were linked to data from the Netherlands Perinatal Register and electronic client records kept by midwives. Midwives and practice assistants from the twenty participating practices recorded work-related activities in a diary for one week, to assess workload. Besides, the midwives were asked to complete a questionnaire, to gain insight into collaboration of midwives with other care providers, their tasks and attitude towards their job, and the quality of the care they provide. Another questionnaire was sent to all Dutch midwifery practices which reveals information regarding the organisation of midwifery practices, provision of preconception care, collaboration with other care providers, and provision of care to ethnic minorities. Data at client, midwife and practice level can be linked. Additionally, partners of pregnant women and other care providers were asked about their expectations and experiences regarding the care delivered by midwives and in six practices client consults were videotaped to objectively assess daily practice.
In total, 7685 clients completed at least one questionnaire, 136 midwives and assistants completed a diary with work-related activities (response 100%), 99 midwives completed a questionnaire (92%), and 319 practices across the country completed a questionnaire (61%), 30 partners of clients participated in focus groups, 21 other care providers were interviewed and 305 consults at six midwifery practices were videotaped.
The multicenter DELIVER study provides an extensive database with national representative data on the quality of primary care midwifery in the Netherlands. This study will support evidence-based practice in primary care midwifery in the Netherlands and contribute to a better understanding of the maternity care system.
PMCID: PMC3331850  PMID: 22433820
5.  Physical, social and societal functioning of children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) and their parents, in a Dutch population 
Most research concerning congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) and related conditions caused by primary adrenal insufficiency, such as Addison's or Cushing's disease, has focused on medical aspects rather than on patients' quality of life. Therefore, our objective was to investigate the physical, social and societal functioning of children with CAH and their parents in a Dutch population.
The study is descriptive and cross-sectional. Self-designed questionnaires, based on questionnaires developed in the Netherlands for different patient groups, were sent to parents of children with CAH between 0 and 18 years old. Participants were recruited through the Dutch patient group for Adrenal Disease (NVACP) and six hospitals in the Netherlands. Three different questionnaires were designed for parents: for children aged 0 - 4, aged 4 - 12 and aged 12 - 18. Additionally, a fourth questionnaire was sent to adolescents with CAH aged 12 - 18. Main outcome measures were experienced burden of the condition, self-management and participation in several areas, such as school and leisure time.
A total of 106 parents returned the questionnaire, 12 regarding pre-school children (0-4 years), 63 regarding primary school children (4-12 years), and 32 regarding secondary school children (12-18 years), combined response rate 69.7%. Also, 24 adolescents returned the questionnaire. Children and adolescents with CAH appear to be capable of self-management at a young age. Experienced burden of the condition is low, although children experience several health related problems on a daily basis. Children participate well in school and leisure time. Few children carry a crisis card or emergency injection with them.
Overall, our research shows that, according to their parents, children with CAH experience few negative effects of the condition and that they participate well in several areas such as school and leisure time. However, improvements can be made concerning the measures parents and children must take to prevent an adrenal crisis.
PMCID: PMC3292980  PMID: 22300447
CAH; children; quality of life; social functioning; burden of disease; self-management; participation; Netherlands; parents; comorbidity; preventive measures
6.  The role of hospital midwives in the Netherlands 
Most midwives in the Netherlands work in primary care where they are the lead professionals providing care to women with 'normal' or uncomplicated pregnancies, while some midwives work in hospitals ("clinical midwives"). The actual involvement of midwives in maternity care in hospitals is unknown, because in all statistics births in secondary care are registered as births assisted by gynaecologists. The aim of this study is to gain insight in the involvement of midwives with births in secondary care, under supervision of a gynaecologist. This is done using data from the PRN (The Netherlands Perinatal Registry), a voluntary registration of births in the Netherlands. The PRN covers 97% to 99% of all births taking place under responsibility of a gynaecologist.
All births registered in secondary care in the period 1998-2007 (1,102,676, on average 61% of all births) were selected. We analyzed trends in socio-demographic, obstetric and organisational characteristics, associated with the involvement of midwives, using frequency tables and uni- and multivariate logistic regression analyses. As main outcome measure the percentage of births in secondary care with a midwife 'catching' the baby was used.
The proportion of births attended by a midwife in secondary care increased from 8.3% in 1998 to 26.06% in 2007, the largest increase involving spontaneous births of a second or later child, on weekdays during day shifts (8.00-20.00 hr) from younger mothers with a gestational age (almost) at term. After 2002, parallel to the growing numbers of midwives working in hospitals, the percentage of instrumental births decreased.
In 2007 more midwives are assisting with more births in secondary care than in 1998. Hospital-based midwives are primarily involved with uncomplicated births of women with relatively low risk demographical and obstetrical characteristics. However, they are still only involved with half of the less complicated births, indicating that there may be room for more midwives in hospitals to care for women with relatively uncomplicated births. Whether an association exists between the growing involvement of midwives and the decreasing percentage of instrumental births needs further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3016258  PMID: 21143883
7.  Measuring client experiences in long-term care in the Netherlands: a pilot study with the Consumer Quality Index Long-term Care 
This study aims to describe the development, testing and optimization of a new standard instrument, the Consumer Quality Index (CQ-index®) Long-term Care, for measuring client experiences with long-term care in the Netherlands.
Three versions of the CQ-index questionnaires and protocols for study sampling and data collection were developed, designed for interviews with residents of nursing or residential care homes and postal surveys among representatives of psychogeriatric residents and homecare clients. From July to November 2006 a pilot study was conducted among 2,697 clients of 68 nursing or residential care homes, 2,164 representatives of clients in 57 psychogeriatric care institutions, and 1,462 clients of 19 homecare organizations. We performed psychometric analyses and descriptive analyses, and evaluated the pilot study.
The pilot study showed the feasibility and usability of the instruments, supported the multidimensionality of the questionnaires and showed first findings on client experiences and possibilities for quality improvement. Nine scales applied to all care settings: shared decision making, attitude and courtesy, information, body care, competence and safety of care, activities, autonomy, mental well-being, and availability of personnel. The pilot resulted in three optimized questionnaires and recommendations for nationwide implementation.
The CQ-index® Long-term Care provides a good basis to investigate the quality of nursing homes, residential care homes and homecare from the clients' perspective. This standardized instrument enables a nationwide comparison of the quality of long-term care for the purpose of transparency and quality assurance.
PMCID: PMC2907762  PMID: 20384989
8.  The quality of maternity care services as experienced by women in the Netherlands 
Maternity care is all care in relation to pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. In the Netherlands maternity care is provided by midwives and general practitioners (GPs) in primary care and midwives and gynecologists in secondary care. To be able to interpret women's experience with the quality of maternity care, it is necessary to take into account their 'care path', that is: their route through the care system.
In the Netherlands a new tool is being developed to evaluate the quality of care from the perspective of clients. The tool is called: 'Consumer Quality Index' or CQI and is, within a standardized and systematic framework, tailored to specific health care issues.
Within the framework of developing a CQI Maternity Care, data were gathered about the care women in the Netherlands received during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. In this paper the quality of maternity care in the Netherlands is presented, as experienced by women at different stages of their care path.
A sample of 1,248 pregnant clients of four insurance companies, with their due date in early April 2007, received a postal survey in the third trimester of pregnancy (response 793). Responders to the first questionnaire received a second questionnaire twelve weeks later, on average four weeks after delivery (response 632). Based on care provider and place of birth the 'care path' of the women is described. With factor analysis and reliability analysis five composite measures indicating the quality of treatment by the care provider at different stages of the care path have been constructed. Overall ratings relate to eight different aspects of care, varying from antenatal care by a midwife or GP to care related to neonatal screening.
41.5 percent of respondents remained in primary care throughout pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum period, receiving care from a midwife or general practitioner, 31.3% of respondents gave birth at home. The majority of women (58.5%) experienced referral from one care provider to another, i.e. from primary to secondary care or reverse, at least once. All but two percent of women had one or more ultrasound scans during pregnancy. The composite measures for the quality of treatment in different settings and by different care providers showed that women, regardless of parity, were very positive about the quality of the maternity care they received. Quality-of-treatment scores were high: on average 3.75 on a scale ranging from 1 to 4. Overall ratings on a 0 – 10 scale for quality of care during the antenatal period and during labor, birth and the postpartum period were high as well, on average 8.36.
The care path of women in maternity care was seldom straight forward. The majority of pregnant women switched from primary to secondary care and back at least once, during pregnancy or during labor and birth or both.
The results of the quality measures indicate that the quality of care as experienced by women is high throughout the care system. But with regard to the care during labor and birth the quality of care scores are higher when women know their care provider, when they give birth at home, when they give birth in primary care and when they are assisted by their own midwife.
PMCID: PMC2689853  PMID: 19426525

Results 1-8 (8)