Making informed decision-making meaningful in maternity care: Understanding what it means for women to be truly informed

Megan Cooper, Annette Briley, Fiona Dillon, Liz McNeill, Paula Medway, Claire Feeley, Claire Singh

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

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Abstract

Introduction
Increased rates of medical interventions in pregnancy and childbirth, whilst driven under the auspices of improving safety in maternity care, have not always been paralleled with apparent benefits for women and their babies. Whilst the importance of gaining consent for a medical intervention is acknowledged, it is often apparent that women have not received adequate information to make an informed choice. Informed decision-making and consent are discussed as mainstays of respectful maternity care however, the concept and understandings of being informed from the perspective of both women and clinicians have not been well explored.

Aims
To (1) develop consensus surrounding the definition of, and processes for, facilitating informed decision-making for maternity care procedures or interventions and (2) identify the current understanding of informed decision-making and consent from the perspective of women and healthcare professionals.

Methods
Phase one explored the definitions of informed decision-making and consent using a concept analysis. Phase two employed a systematic meta-thematic synthesis to explore the understandings of informed decision-making and consent from the perspective of women and clinicians.

Results
Preliminary results suggest that there are varied understandings of what it means for clinicians to facilitate and women to exercise, informed decision-making. As such, what it means for women to be informed is arguably not well understood. The literature suggests that this may be contributing to women feeling excluded from key decisions which contributes to pregnancy and birth-related trauma. Full results will be presented.

Conclusions
The provision of humanised, respectful maternity care is hinged on women being informed. The findings of this concept analysis and meta-synthesis will shed light on what it truly means for women to exercise informed decision-making and will underpin an international Delphi study.

Key message
Understanding how legal, ethical, and morally appropriate informed decision-making is best operationalised will inform respectful maternity care.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventInternational Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress: Together again: from evidence to reality - Bali, Indonesia
Duration: 11 Jun 202314 Jun 2023
Conference number: 33
https://web.archive.org/web/20231002205646/https://midwives2023.org/ (Conference website)

Conference

ConferenceInternational Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress
Country/TerritoryIndonesia
CityBali
Period11/06/2314/06/23
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Poster PA-153: Making decisions meaningful in maternity care: understanding what it means for women to be truly informed

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