Deaf women's experiences of maternity in primary care: an integrative review

Luton, Meghan ORCID logoORCID:, Allan, Helen T. ORCID logoORCID: and Kaur, Herminder (2022) Deaf women's experiences of maternity in primary care: an integrative review. Midwifery, 104 , 103190. pp. 1-6. ISSN 0266-6138 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.midw.2021.103190)

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Background: An estimated 24,000 people in the UK report using British Sign Language (BSL) as their first language. Misconceptions about deaf culture and language mean that deaf people have less access to health information and their health literacy is lower. Deaf people's health needs go under the radar in primary care with ensuing poorer health outcomes. Deaf women's experiences of maternity care are poorly understood.

Methods: Using Whittemore and Knafl's method for an integrative review, the following databases were searched: EMBASE, MedLine, CINAHL and Maternity and Infant Care. After reviewing 430 journal article titles and abstracts against the inclusion/exclusion criteria, 11 articles were included for final review. Selected studies were conducted internationally and were available in English. 10 were qualitative studies, 1 used survey design. They were reviewed using the Caldwell Framework.

Findings: These show that deaf women avoid seeking care, have a lack of access to health information and healthcare providers, including midwives, have a lack of deaf awareness. For deaf women, during pregnancy, birth and postnatal periods, this can mean having longer hospital stays and more complex postnatal care needs in both the hospital and community setting.

Conclusions: Current care provisions do not always meet the needs of the deaf BSL using women who use maternity services. Midwives should be aware of deafness as a culture and how to best meet the needs of the community to improve health outcomes for women and their babies.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Adult, Child and Midwifery
A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 34117
Notes on copyright: © 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2021 12:03
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 17:37

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